Tags Posts tagged with "Jose Mourinho"

Jose Mourinho

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In anticipation for tomorrow’s Premier league clash, ex-Blues player and pundit Pat Nevin shared his thoughts on the game with the official Liverpool F.C website.

In response to Chelsea recently winning their 5th league title, Nevin remarked: “Although people didn’t realise, the pressure really was on Chelsea; they were running out of top players,” before stating that the champions will still go for a good result, due to “the relationship between the two clubs and the great games there have been over the last few years.”

It can go either way, it’s quite common that you will see a team opening up when the pressure is off. That could happen with Chelsea but I don’t think it will.” The former Chelsea Player of the Year remarked on how lack of pressure can allow a team to play freely or have them slack somewhat, although remained confident that Mourinho’s men would stay disciplined, predicting it to be “a tight and technical game.”

Nevin then shared his views on PFA Player of the Year, Eden Hazard: He is improving all the time…I would compare him with [Cristiano] Ronaldo at Manchester United, because there were elements of his game that were superfluous, and he then got rid of them all and kept the things that worked.”

He then went on to speak on the emerging youth from Liverpool, stating that “Coutinho stands out” amongst the rest, who Nevin feels could get closed down by solid defensive work from the likes of Azpilicueta and Ivanovic: “The bits we’re beginning to see of Coutinho, he’s absolutely up there and he’s a phenomenal standard of player.

Nevin states “it’s hard to say” how a Liverpool side can get a much needed win over a consistent Chelsea side under Mourinho: “if he opens it up it could be anyone’s game and the fact that Liverpool need it more I wouldn’t be too surprised if they win if Mourinho makes a few changes.”

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PEP GUARDIOLA JOSE MOURINHO
Guardiola and Mourinho used to be good friends when both at Barça in the late 90's, then...

On Wednesday night the world admired Leo Messi destroying his ex manager hopes to reach the Champions League final – football is strange, but everyone believes a comeback in Munich would be VERY hard for Bayern- netting two goals in three minutes after Bayern Munich’s Guardiola resisted on 0-0 for 76′ at Camp Nou. Then Neymar, in the injury time, sealed match and tie, for Pep desperation: the Catalan manager played three Champions League semifinals with Bayern so far, and lost all of them.

Speaking about Messi’s importance in a team, José Mourinho jabbed Pep Guardiola, stating that for any “Anthony”[Portuguese for ‘Joe Bloggs’] would be possible to reach the Champions League final having a star like Leo in his team:

“One thing is a team. Another thing is a team with Messi, it’s a different story. He played a Champions League final with Guardiola [2009 and 2011].

“He – normally – is playing a Champions League final with Luis Enrique [2015]. And if one day he plays for Anthony , Anthony will go to a Champions League final with him.

“So when people analyse teams, you have to remember that this boy makes everything different, he makes everything different.”

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PETR CECH
Petr Cech will move to Arsenal this summer © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking about Cech possible move during next market window, Mourinho revealed that his desire is the Czech goalkeeper to stay at Chelsea but, in case he has to go, he said that he won’t let him join another Premier League side.

The Portuguese manager also claimed that this kind of decisions belong to the board, not just to him:

One thing is Jose Mourinho and another is Mr Abramovich and another thing is the board because the board includes a little bit of me, a little bit of other people”

“But if it was me, if it was my decision, my decision is Petr to stay. That’s it. It would be my decision for Petr to stay”

“I think that the club is more important than the players and, as was proved this season, the club needs two very good goalkeepers,” he said.

“Without Petr this season I don’t think the club would be champions because he played six important matches in the Premier League and without these points we probably wouldn’t be champions”

“So for me, decision number one: Petr will stay. After that, second point to go but not in England. The option I don’t want is for him to go to an English club”

“But, I repeat, I am just the manager and he means so much for this club and what he did in this club I think he deserves everything from this club”

“If the club decision is different to mine, I will accept with all the respect“.

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KOKE
Koke was impressive in La Liga last season

The Daily Express reveals that Chelsea are in advanced talks with Atlético Madrid over a £30m swap deal for Spanish midfielder Koke.

According to the English newspaper the 23-year-old has a £44m release clause, but the Blues hope that including former Atlético left-back Filipe Luis in the deal could tempt Cerezo’s club into selling. Luis didn’t impress this season at Stamford Bridge and is reportedly keen on returning to Madrid.

Koke is believed to be on the top of Mourinho’s wishlist, but unless a formation change is in the Portuguese’s plans, the Spain international may find it difficult to occupy a place in Chelsea’s side next term. The Blues have used a 4-2-3-1 system for the majority of the season, with Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic operating as a pair in the heart of the midfield: the two midfielders  both  fundamental for the stability of the team during this successful season, but it’s also true they missed several games for injuries or suspensions, and like every player had moments of low form, with Zouma forced to play in the midfield to give more stability and power, so Koke can be the perfect replacement to dip into in certain moments.

In the last games Mourinho often used the 4-3-3 system also to deal with the absence of his strikers, all coping with injuries, so Koke could perfect to suit a three-men-midfield: his arrival could give Mourinho more options to play and the team won’t be hinging on the two pivots, Fabregas and Matic.

With Real Madrid and Barcelona set to dominate La Liga for the considerable future, Koke may choose to take a step closer to silverware this summer. Chelsea would be the perfect destination for the young midfielder.

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Petr Cech hinted he could leave Chelsea this summer despite one more year of contract to complete with the Blues.

The Chelsea legend hadn’t liked very much the fact this season he was relegated to be “Number Two” in favour of Thibaut Courtois and now he will probably look for another club to continue to play at top level as the first choice.

Blues boss José Mourinho stated he would like Cech to stay at Chelsea, considering him very important and fundamental for the stability of the squad and also for his performances when needed:

“If it was my decision, I want Petr to stay: the club is more important than the players. As we proved this season, the club needs two very good goalkeepers”

“Without him I don’t think we would be champions. He played six games and without those points we wouldn’t be champions”.

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JOSE MOURINHO LEO MESSI
Mourinho revealed he spent hours studying how to stop Leo Messi

Speaking before the match with Liverpool to Chelsea website, Mourinho talked again about Steven Gerrard, after praising him already in his press conference, revealing he was one of the champions and the rivals he admired and respected the most, having tried to sign him for every team he managed.

Gerrard will play for the last time with a Liverpool shirt tomorrow at Stamford Bridge, before heading off to Los Angeles to play the MLS with LA Galaxy.

Lampard and him were for years the pivots of England national team, and many people were talking about the best way to combine their style of play.

Mourinho wanted to share his opinion about this:

“They were the two best number 8s in Europe from 2004 to 2012. When you have them, with my vision, you don’t play with a number 10. You play with a number six and give the freedom to the number 8s because they will score more goals than a number 10. Frank Lampard would score 30 goals from midfield and Steven Gerrard would score 25.’

The Chelsea boss then spoke about Leo Messi, that last Wednesday provided another impressive performance, with two stunning goals, in the Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich. The world of football is another time – literally- at his feet:

“Almost every year I’m there, in the quarter-finals, semi-final or final, this was the first time in many years I wasn’t there. It’s very normal not to be there once in a while but watching Messi you don’t miss being there because you enjoy it so much, you don’t think about not being there, you think about what he did”

“I always planned when I played against him. Every time I spent hours studying and trying to [find ways to] stop him. Many times we were successful, other times we weren’t”

“For Inter, against Barcelona, we stopped him in both matches. I think the last way to do it is man to man, because he’s better than everyone. When you go man to man, you go with similar power. With him it’s an impossible job”

“I played against him so many times. He played for Barcelona against Porto when I was there and he was just a kid. After that I played against him with Chelsea, Inter and at Real Madrid I played against him dozens and dozens of times”

“Every time I played against him I would think about ways in which we could collectively give him a difficult match, that’s the best thing you can do against him”

 

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With the last three games being something of a formality for title-winning Chelsea, it is their visitors Liverpool who have more to play for as the two face eachkther at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (16:00 GMT KO). 

Following the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace which won the club the title, Chelsea now have a 10 point lead over second placed Manchester City and third placed Arsenal (who have a game in hand).

There is a 21 point gap between the Blues and their visitors this weekend (Chelsea; 83 points, Liverpool; 61), as the Reds continue their fight to secure European football. Champions League football is still very much possible for Liverpool, being only four points off fourth placed Manchester United with three games to go.

It’s been a somewhat disappointing season on Merseyside. Following a brilliant season last year, the loss of Luis Suarez and repetitive injuries to Daniel Sturridge have seen the club’s form fall. They have won just two out of their last seven games, losing three.

 

Team News:

Chelsea:

– Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will make a late decision on whether to play striker Diego Costa.

– Oscar is definitely out.

– The Blues have no other injury concerns, so could give starts to players who usually start on the bench including Kurt Zouma, Filipe Luis and Petr Cech.

Liverpool:

– Daniel Sturridge is a long-term absentee for the visitors.

– Mario Balotelli and Lucas Leiva could both be back in contention after returning to training this week.

 

Stats:

– Liverpool have lost just one of their four BPL visits to Stamford Bridge, winning two of them.

– Eden Hazard has created 88 chances this season – the most from open play in the league.

– Brendan Rodgers’ side has kept seven clean sheets from nine away games this season.

– Mourinho has lost just one game out of the 96 he has managed at Stamford Bridge, winning 75 of them.

– Chelsea won the away fixture 1-2 in November, with goals from Gary Cahill and Diego Costa cancelling out Emre Can’s opener.

– Chelsea and Liverpool also met in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, Chelsea winning the second leg 1-0 at home after drawing 1-1 in the away leg.

– Liverpool have managed just one win in seven league games against teams from the top four.

– Mourinho has won eight out of 10 games against Liverpool as Chelsea boss, losing just one.

 

Last time out:

Chelsea (home vs. Crystal Palace, won 1-0): Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Cuardrado, Willian, Hazard, Drogba

Liverpool (home vs. QPR, won 2-1): Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Henderson, Gerrard, Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert, Lallana

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JOSE MOURINHO
Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Despite remaining consistent throughout his Premier League campaign, winning the league with three games to spare, José Mourinho is still yet to be awarded a ‘Manager of the Month’ award.

In the month of April, Mourinho won 4 out of 5 games, only dropping points in a goalless draw away at Arsenal, in order to secure a strong footing to win the Premier League title. However, the award went to Nigel Pearson of Leicester City, who also won 4 out of 5 games, losing only to Chelsea. It is is likely that the argument in favour of Pearson would be that his team were able to climb out of relegation with those results, as opposed to Chelsea, who achieved the arguably less pressure-filled task of maintaining a point gap at the top; even losing all 5 matches would have them 3 points from first place.

This asks a question of the awarding committee: is it harder to be rewarded when you are under less pressure, or somewhat expected to win? The way awards have been previously appear to be based on the form of the team that month, often noting the most improved perhaps – but what if to win consistently is business as usual? Is Mourinho’s managerial brilliance ironically what hinders him from ever becoming Manager of the Month?

This ‘most improved over most consistent’ approach appears more prominent when one learns that Tony Pulis won the February Award with 2 wins and 2 draws, showing a notable improvement by losing one game since the January transfer period, while they were looking at almost certain relegation before the new year. However, this is contrasted by Arsène Wenger winning the March award, who won 9 out of 11 games since the new year to stay in pursuit of the eventual champions.

Where both Arsenal and Chelsea showed good form that month, Arsenal had the edge by wining all of their league games, whereas the Blues dropped points in a draw against Southampton. Upon looking throughout the league results of each month, Chelsea have only won every league game in the month of August dropping at least two points every other month; the winning streak just can’t seem to get going. This inability to have a perfect run of games in a month, combined with the fact that Chelsea have been consistent enough to create high expectations for the squad, hinders the ‘Special One’ from fully living up to his namesake.

In this final month of Premier League competition, Mourinho has begun with a good result to win the title, thus opening up a chance to end this year’s campaign as ‘Manager of the Month.’ However, while teams fight under pressure for safety and Europe, it appears that only the most towering victories will be able to stand against the best results of the other teams. At the very least, José will be holding a much more memorable award for his efforts.

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MOURINHO GERRARD
Gerrard and Mourinho always had huge mutual respect

In the press conference ahead of Liverpool’s clash Jose Mourinho claimed he’s very sad to face a champion like Steven Gerrard for the last time.

The Blues boss also stated that Chelsea will try to win the three next upcoming matches and that the club and him are already planning the next season to improve the results.

“We want to win, we want to win all matches, three difficult matches, Liverpool needs points, normally Sunderland needs points, only WBA will be just in a situation where they don’t need point- even if they play the last match at home. Crystal Palace was perfect, it was the perfect example of what football has to be. If we can reach 90 points it will be a beautiful number for a competition like the Premier League”

“It’s not true I gave the players four days off. Every player has his needs, and for this reason there were some players that got two days off, some had three or four, some were here working on Monday”

“Manager of the Month? I think my objective of the season was to be champion, apart from that, what comes comes, what doesn’t come doesn’t come. I would like to know what people in the panel is, because maybe some day I meet them at an event or on the pitch and I want to hug him [laughs]. To enjoy my title is the most important thing”

“I don’t need a contract, Mr Abramovich has to be very calm, because he has me, I’m in his hands, I want to stay, I don’t want to leave, if he wants me to stay I stay, and where he wants me to leave I leave. I know that for next season he wants me to stay, because we are working on it. The most important thing is not a two years contract or ten years contract, the most important thing is that I want to stay”

“Liverpool is a giant club and if they want to honour the champions is ok, now it’s my time to honour the champions, like Steve Gerrard, because if I am the manager I am is for opponents like him, I learn from my players and from my opponents, in the way they make me study them: Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite ‘enemies’, for sure is England is one of my dear ‘enemy’, I lost to him, I won, he played in all positions, in one of the last matches he came from the wing, I’m very sad I will play for the last time against him. The same is for Frank Lampard, but it was different because Frankie was here with me, Steven was always on the other side, I tried to bring him to Chelsea, to Inter, to Real Madrid, but he was always my dear enemy. It’s too late to bring him to Chelsea, he won’t ever play against Liverpool: he’s one of the last players that won’t go to other  big clubs or leagues to not play against Liverpool, maybe one day I will play against him when he will be Liverpool manager”

“I’m not happy to be out of the Champions League in the last 16, but with the players we lost it would been tough to play against Barcelona, and Man United and Arsenal in the same days”

“The most important thing is to keep the squad, the players we have, in my previous squad I had players I was happy to sell and make money out of them, in this squad no, and the board agree with me. In the squad we have 16-17 players and the youngsters, of course we don’t sell the young boys, obviously we want to improve the squad, some young players are ready to go on long-term loan to improve, Loftus-Cheek is staying, not going on loan”

“Solanke is playing a lot, he plays everywhere, in every team, in the first team, U21, U18, Champions League, Youth League..and this is very good for him. On Sunday he won’t play because I have Drogba and Remy. I’m not surprised of what he did, because in the last pre-season he played with us everywhere, but these guys have to learn to control emotions, this is very important for them”

“I think is a title to remember for the stability from day one to the last day”

“Next season I guess will be a very important season”

“Oscar got an important muscular injury in the quadriceps, and this take one month-six weeks to recover, we spoke to Dunga, and he made the decision for Oscar not to go”

“I think the evolution of the other teams if what we need to be better. If next season in England we are the same I think is not enough, difficulties make us better, we expect our opponents to be stronger, and this is what we need”

“Key moments in this season? Maybe the stability after Tottenham defeat: 1st of January, 5-3, London derby…the stability after that, everybody was confident, everybody sticking together, that moment defined the stability of our group”.

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Mourinho Van Gaal Old Trafford 2014
Mourinho and Van Gaal at Old Trafford in October 2014 © Francesca Ceciarini

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal revealed that he congratulated with his friend Jose Mourinho, but he’s not sure the Chelsea boss received the sms:

“I have sent him [Mourinho] a message but I don’t know if he has received it because he is always changing his number”

“But I want to wish Jose Mourinho my congratulations for winning the championship”

“It is well deserved I think. When you look at the statistics, you cannot doubt that they are deserved champions”

Mourinho gave his players four days off this week ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, who are battling to catch Manchester United in fourth spot to access next year Champions League.

Van Gaal claimed about this: “That is the privilege of every manager and certainly when you are the champions”

“Jose Mourinho can decide that and, as a team, they shall still do their utmost [against Liverpool] I think.”

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