Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has revealed he is "sad" at Chelsea's decision to dismiss Frank Lampard, but attributed his sacking to the norms of modern football.
Lampard was dismissed on Monday after a dreary run of results saw the Blues pick up just two Premier League wins from their last eight games, leaving them ninth in the table having sat as high as third earlier in the season.
Mourinho has managed Chelsea on two separate occasions and has been dismissed twice by the club, but did manage to win three Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge. Now in charge of rivals Spurs, he was asked about Lampard's dismissal in his latest pre-match press conference, telling reporters (via Sky Sports) that he feels for his former player.
"I am always sad when a colleague loses his job. Frank is not just a colleague, he is an important person in my career, so I feel sorry he did (get sacked)," Mourinho said.
"It is the brutality of football, especially modern football, so when you become a manager you know that sooner or later it is going to happen to you."
Lampard is expected to be succeeded by Thomas Tuchel, who most recently managed Paris Saint-Germain until he was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino in December 2020. Reports claim there were concerns over the form of Lampard's side as well as the atmosphere behind the scenes, where senior players had clashed with the rest of the squad.
He guided Chelsea to a fourth-placed finish and Champions League qualification in his first season in charge, relying heavily on the club's wealth of youth talent after the Blues were handed a one-year transfer ban. As soon as that expired, the west Londoners spent big, although signings such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have failed to make the expected impact.
The failure to get the most out of those two, as well as the club's poor form and rumoured disharmony, have contributed to Lampard losing his job, and when Tuchel arrives at Stamford Bridge he will become Chelsea's fourth manager since 2016, knowing that no manager has lasted longer than two years in Roman Abramovich's hot seat since 2007.