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Kovačić compares Lampard favorably to Zidane, Sarri

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Similar management styles, yet different

Hull City v Chelsea FC - FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

One surefire way to generate some quotes and some headlines is to ask players to compare their coaches, past and present. Since no coach is ever the same, with at least minor differences in tactics, training, or man-management, it’s an endlessly mineable field of molehills just waiting to ascend to mountain status.

Today’s tribute for running said gauntlet is Mateo Kovačić, who recently gave an interview to FourFourTwo magazine. For him, Lampard compares favorably to Zidane in terms of the general approach, though obviously the Chelsea man is much more generous in terms of actual game-time (which is why Kovačić left Real in the first place).

“Zidane was similar to the way Frank Lampard is as a coach, and their approaches really suit me.

”It was nice to play under Zidane, but I thought he could have given me a deserved opportunity in the third Champions League final. That was the main reason for my dissatisfaction, but that’s football and we parted with no bad feelings.”

Lampard is the third head coach in three years for Kovačić, but it would appear that he’s been the best fit of the three for the midfielder, and has managed to bring out some of the 25-year-old’s best qualities. While there’s always room for improvement — and in Mateo’s case, they’re quite clear where — it sounds like Lampard’s training sessions have been key in that regard.

“I came to Chelsea under Sarri, but I must say that Lampard is an exceptional manager. He has kept the character he had as a player in his personality as a coach, which has inspired all of us. He commits himself with everything he’s got. Training is always challenging and different from last season.

”That’s probably the main difference between Lampard and Sarri, who made the concept of training quite monotonous. There were a lot of similar training sessions with a focus on tactical preparation.”

-Mateo Kovačić; source: FourFourTwo via AS

Obviously there’s no right or wrong way to go about football management, but keeping things interesting in the day-to-day grind would probably be a good baseline for most approaches. No one wants to be bored at work, after all, especially in situation where high-performance is no only expected, but crucial to the company’s/team’s success.

May it last long, and prosper!