Pep Guardiola delivered a glowing verdict on the opening strains to Frank Lampard’s managerial career insisting he already has “the future in his hands” at Chelsea.
But on Saturday at the Etihad the Spaniard will put aside professional admiration and prove the present very much still belongs to him and Manchester City.
Parallels with the career path of the City boss are obvious after Lampard was given the reins at Stamford Bridge after a season in the Championship with Derby County.
Back in 2008 Guardiola was promoted from managing Barcelona’s B side for a season and put in the hot-seat at the Nou Camp.
But while Lampard has made a bright start and City’s loss to Liverpool before the international break sees him arrive one place and one point ahead, Guardiola insists there are plenty of obstacles ahead for the former England midfielder.