Not as much as you used to be, but how you have always been.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea naturally attacked more, but there was a recognizable element of ‘respect’ that has been seen in many of their big games this season, and in so many of the manager’s games as a midfielder for Mourinho.
It actually looked like a classic 0-0 Big Four-era Super Sunday 2004-09, which shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
He just never fired. Far from the potential of a title challenge firing those teams for a show, the stakes seemed to bring him down.
As such, it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know. Not enough for that.
The scheme of the entire game was defined and reported in seven minutes. Chelsea had a lot of possession, which meant a few nice passes, with Spurs patiently waiting to cut off the counterattacks. They got one thanks to Steven Bergwijn, who burned the ball.
It was the first big chance of the game – and also the last in some time.
The game quickly became “strategic” rather than entertaining.
Some of those things indicated where the sides were and where they wanted to go next.
Much of it was on Mourinho, which is neither a surprise nor a criticism. He did what is in his footballing nature and organized his squad in a rigorous defensive way which made it very difficult for any team to find their way.
This also underlined Lampard’s specific challenge. He needs to ensure that this range of attackers – arguably the best collection of advanced talent in Europe, in terms of depth – fits into a system that truly enhances their capabilities, rather than just depending on their individual quality.
There have been sparkling signs of this in recent games – but not yet in big games.
Against Manchester United, Liverpool and Sevilla in the Champions League, Chelsea have played most of their football in front of Spurs.
This indicates another way Mourinho has clearly influenced his former player.
Lampard has so far seemed resolutely focused on just “getting a result” in big games, and not losing; a flag bearer, something to build on. Whatever you want to call it, you can definitely tell it’s very Mourinho 2005. It was a staple.
It’s still of course Mourinho 2020.
Spurs were looking to counter where they could, but seemed entirely happy with a draw. This in itself indicates an area in which Lampard has made undeniable progress. This bottom line has improved dramatically.
They just looked so much more robust – and Edouard Mendy obviously radiates confidence in a way that is the complete opposite of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
When the Spanish keeper was in the squad, the defense never looked comfortable. It was as if uncertainty radiated.
On a rare occasion where Tanguy Ndombele broke through to thunder a shot on goal, the keeper stopped him solidly and pushed him back.
As superb as Mendy has been, it’s not just about signing a better goalkeeper. Lampard impressively established the team’s balance, while Thiago Silva was a great influence.
Ndombele had beaten the Chelsea midfielder with a supreme turn that reminded Mousa Dembele. He looks like a player who is really finding his form – but, frustratingly, has yet to find a full run. Ndombele came off after 65 minutes, scoring another game when he was substituted early.
It was just another small step that gave Chelsea more initiative. Hakim Ziyech almost opened up Spurs with a divine volley pass that reminded herself of David Silva, Mason Mount brought a great save from Hugo Lloris.
Lampard eventually reached the size of Olivier Giroud, but such a siege weapon did not really bring the bombardment.
Tottenham was not to be moved. This, which is most pleasant for Mourinho, also applies at the top of the table.