From the moment he was confronted by his new manager in the showers on a pre-season tour, Frank Lampard realised he was working with no ordinary being. "You are the best midfielder in the world," whispered Jose Mourinho to a dripping wet, slightly confused Lampard.
Mourinho said it with certainty; it was not up for debate. Lampard, as he said in his autobiography, left the dressing-room ready to take on the world.
The goals, performances and medals followed. Just this week we were given another insight into the Mourinho way. Lampard spoke at a dinner held in his manager's honour at The Savoy on Sunday. He recalled the death of his mother, Pat, and revealed: "As soon as I hit a bad time, he (Mourinho) rang me every day. Every single day. He is the most loyal, the most caring manager I have ever worked with."
Striking for many reasons, not least because Mourinho was the manager of Inter Milan at the time of Lampard's mother's death.