Tags Posts tagged with "Jose Mourinho"

Jose Mourinho

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Where Chelsea have been strong and consistent enough in their league campaign to win it early, this strength wasn’t able to carry them to the latter stages of the Champions League.

In the past month, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Juventus have claimed their respective league titles, with La Liga being a race between Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, the Premier League champions were the only team to not reach the final eight, dropping out to soon to be Ligue 1 champions PSG, which perhaps further drives the point home.

It can be said that dropping out while there were a notable amount of games left was a blessing in disguise, as injury woes combined with European competition could’ve had the Blues in a tense situation at the end of the season. However, one can’t help but wonder if Mourinho’s team could’ve got even more out of this season, as another Champions League would have easily silenced Mourinho’s detractors.

Perhaps one can credit Chelsea’s shortcomings in Europe to a rare lapse in concentration against a good side, or perhaps burn out from maintaining good form to win what is often stated to be the most competitive league. Conversely however, seeing as not a single English team has gotten to the latter stages in either European competition this year, this overall lacklustre showing from the premier league could be a prompt for worry about the future of English football, especially if even the strongest teams in the league can’t get to the quarter finals. Of course, it would be overreacting to make such big claims on the results of one season, but it does give the managers of the Premier League’s top teams something  think about.

One can hope that Chelsea can improve their already dominant squad in order to step up to the challenge next year, with enough squad depth to have a realistic chance of challenging for all available silverware.

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CHELSEA TITLE CELEBRATION
Chelsea players celebrating their title win. © Francesca Ceciarini

Winning the Capital One Cup by beating Tottenham 2-0 at Wembley in February was great, and should have been the start of a clean sweep of trophies. Taking the Premiership with a couple of weeks to spare was fantastic so why are the champagne bottles not popping quite so loudly as might be expected?

Well, the Blues’ FA Cup exit to League 2 Bradford, at Stamford Bridge, was “embarrassing” as Jose Mourinho said, and going out of the Champions League was a “disappointment”. But why?

I’ll tell you why – the Blues became stale and defensive. Look at the latter results; goals came in ones and twos. At the start of the season they came in threes, fives and sixes. There was a hunger to find the net. The forwards were like the Foreign Legion, on the charge and shooting on sight.

Yes, I know, we want to celebrate, we don’t want any downsides to our season and the Premiership title, but don’t we have to keep an eye on going even further next season?

Did the players tire as the season wore on and results were less exciting? Maybe, although Chelsea has a proud heritage of supreme fitness which goes back decades. I can remember Eddie McCreadie at a training session in the 1960’s. Eddie was a lightning fast full-back and on this particular day he was being tested to the limit by manager Tommy Docherty, At the end of the sprint, Eddie was on his knees and could not stop himself from vomiting. Tommy put his hand on his shoulder and said: “Are you all right, son?”

Eddie nodded and replied: “Yes, boss.”

Tommy smiled and said, “Good, go and do it again then.”

There have never been question marks against the fitness of Chelsea players since.

So, what happened? Why did the Blues seem to go down a gear?

Were the Arsenal fans right when they accused Chelsea of being boring? Be fair, the Gunners are experts on the subject.

No, the Blues were not being boring, they were not running out of steam, they were simply carrying out orders. Their orders came from the man who is a household name way beyond football. Jose is a one-off. He punches the air with one hand and starts planning for the next trophy with the other.

His brief is simple – win.

For years West Ham had the reputation of playing cultured football, a delight to watch. What did they win? Next to nothing.

Bill Shankly, when Liverpool manager, once told me, “Aye, we love playing West Ham. They play some lovely football – and we always win.”

So, Jose appreciated good football but all the more he appreciates winning football and will plot for whatever it takes to bring home the trophies.

He has brought home two of the big four this season. He will make some changes during the summer and he will already be weighing up the opposition for next year’s Champions League.

Celebrate the success of this season, relive the golden goals and the super saves but save something for next season. Jose, in whom we trust, has his eye on more than just two trophies.

This time next year we could all be feeling like millionaires – celebrating a clean sweep.

by Bernard Bale

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d
De Bruyne has attracted wide interest from across Europe

Former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne says that he is happy with the decision he made to leave Chelsea.

The Belgian left the Blues in January 2014 for German side Wolfsburg and has been a huge hit with the club this season. He has scored 15 goals and grabbed 26 assists in all competitions this campaign.

The 23-year old signed for Chelsea in January 2012 from Belgian side KRC Genk for around £8 million. However, he made just three appearances for the Premier League side in his two year spell at Stamford Bridge.

During his spell at Chelsea, de Bruyne was loaned out twice. After signing for the Blues he was immediately loaned back to Genk for the rest of the season, before being loaned out to German side Werder Bremen for the 2012-13 season. He made 33 appearances, scoring 10 goals in the process.

After being sold to Wolfsburg for £13 million, he has attracted interest from Manchester City, Bayern Munich and PSG.

De Bruyne has said to EuroSport that he doesn’t know where he will be playing his football next season, but also said that he is happy he left Chelsea:

“Mourinho told me to come back and that’s what I did,” he said.

“After six months of not playing a lot I told the club that I wanted to leave and I didn’t want to go on loan anymore because if you come back you will be always in the same situation and I think the decision that I made to come here was a great decision and at the end I think that I’m doing well right now so I’m very happy with all the decisions that I’ve made.”

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Speaking in an interview for Spanish radio Cadena Cope, Cesc Fabregas remarked the difference of the three coaches that managed him so far in his career: Wenger, Guardiola and Mourinho.

Three managers that most of people put in the elite of world football:

There are differences between all the coaches but the three [Mourinho, Wenger and Guardiola] are very competitive, they like to win.

They focus a lot on the rival, they want their team to be the dominant side but being always aware about who the rival is and how you have to play against them. They are coaches that spoon-feed the players on how you have to start a game, how the rivals play… The truth is that it has been a very important step ahead in my career having being managed by these three managers”

I don’t have to say who is the best or who is the worst. I have learnt a lot in all my spells at Barcelona and at Arsenal. And now with Mourinho I am learning a lot and hope to be with him for many years”

Fabregas also revealed his relationship with Mourinho is very strong:

“I go day by day. I started the season with a lot of energy and trying to give my best. Little by little my relationship with Mourinho is better because the day-to-day relationships make it stronger. And our relationship is very strong. I have learnt a lot from him and I am very grateful for everything he did to bring me to Chelsea and to trust in me”.

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KINGSTONIAN KINGSMEADOW KINGSTON
Kingsmeadow stadium will host Kingstonian v Chelsea game on July 13

A pre-season friendly match between Chelsea and Kingtonian was confirmed for July 13th.

This will the K’s first home game ahead of the 2015/16 season.

Chelsea will return to the Kingston for the first time since August 2012, when they won 1-0 in a pre-season fixture.

Jose Mourinho’s side are unlikely to field a full-strength side with all their stars – most of the South American players are going to Chile to play Copa America- but some of their under-21 side could feature.

 

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BRANISLAV IVANOVIC

Speaking to the Evening Standard after Liverpool game Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic stated that is unbelievable that Mourinho has not got any recognition so far for this season:

“There is not even a question over who the best manager is this season: most of the games, when you study them, every single one he was important.

“I don’t know how that [not winning Manager of the Month] happened. But it doesn’t matter if he won one or not, for sure he is the best manager this season.

“For us, from the club, all the supporters think he should get the Manager of the Year award. We are 11 points clear and we won the League. There is no question he should get it. It’s the normal thing that should happen”

“We as players are all so happy and appreciate the fact we get to work with a manager like him”

“He’s developed our squad and changed the mentality. He has done a lot of things for two years and this year really is the best”.

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STEVE GERRARD
Carragher states Gerrard was right to reject Chelsea

Steven Gerrard has played down the significance of the standing ovation he received from Chelsea fans during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.  

Gerrard scored the equaliser for Liverpool just before half time, and received the ovation from both sets of fans when he was substituted in the second half.

He was ridiculed throughout by some at Stamford Bridge, and boos could be heard from some sections of the ground when he was substituted.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the veteran midfielder said that although he appreciated the gesture, he had other priorities:

“I was more happy with the ovation from the Liverpool fans. Chelsea fans have had respect for a couple of seconds today but have slaughtered me all game.

“I’m not going to get drawn into wishing Chelsea fans well. It was nice of them to turn up for once today.”

Gerrard added: “It was a nice touch. I know they’ve absolutely murdered me for years because I never signed here. I’ve had great support from the Liverpool fans – that’s all that matters to me.”

The 36-year old is moving to LA Galaxy at the end of the season after a prolific spell with Liverpool. He has been the subject of several chants from Chelsea fans, which wasn’t helped by an incident against Chelsea last year. Gerrard slipped, allowing Demba Ba to score the first goal in a 2-0 win at Anfield.

That win practically forfeited Liverpool’s title hopes, allowing Manchester City to become Champions.

In light of that mistake, some Chelsea fans held signs mocking Gerrard.

Several fans held signs mocking the Liverpool captain
Several fans held signs mocking the Liverpool captain

Chelsea tried to sign Gerrard on three occasions, and being rebuffed each time. However, speaking after the game yesterday, he said that it was hard to resist the club for one reason – Jose Mourinho.

“I have huge respect for him [Mourinho]. He’s the best manager in the world. I would have signed for him on three occasions if I wasn’t such a big Liverpool fan.

“He’s the reason my head was turned on a couple of occasions but he knew why I couldn’t do it, because I love Liverpool Football Club. It always means more when you win for your people.”

Mourinho complimented Gerrard, who has won 11 games out of 39 appearances against the Blues, both before and after the game. He called the Liverpool captain his ‘favourite enemy’ and said he will miss a ‘special’ player.

Gerrard has two games left in a Liverpool shirt before his move across the Atlantic, and he says it will be difficult to leave the club that has played a huge part in his life:

“It’s very difficult at the moment,” said Gerrard, who won 114 caps for England. “It’s going to be difficult to let go. I’ve been here 27 years.

“I’m walking away with my held held high, I’m really proud of what I achieved here. There have been some lows too but it’s a part of being a footballer.

“I grew up in the city dreaming of representing the club and I’ve achieved more than I thought I would.

“I’d love to come back in some capacity. That’s out of my control. Liverpool’s in my heart. I’ll support from afar for a couple of years. When I return in a couple of years, whoever’s in charge of the club, it’s down to them.”

 

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says that he will miss Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard when he leaves the Premier League at the end of the season.

The veteran midfielder was playing what is probably his last ever game at Stamford Bridge, and certainly his last in a Liverpool shirt. After scoring the equaliser just before half time following John Terry’s early opener, Gerrard was substituted just before the end of the game.

He was given a standing ovation from both sets of fans.

Having called Gerrard his “favourite enemy” in the build up to the clash, Mourinho said in his post-match interview with Sky Sports that he applauded both Gerrard, and the home faithful:

“I think Stamford Bridge was fantastic because the negative song [which was sung by the Chelsea fans during the game] is the song that shows exactly what the ‘enemy’ concept means.”

In the end, to get an ovation at Stamford Bridge is special for him and shows exactly what I’m saying, we have lots of respect for the top class.”

When asked whether he will miss Gerrard, who is moving to LA Galaxy once this season is over, Mourinho’s answer was simple one:

“I will miss him, yes.

“I want my league to be always the best league, I want my league to always have the best players, I saw the end of amazing players and I was always hurt by that.

“Luis Figo played his last game with me, with Inter. Steven [Gerrard] is leaving, Frank Lampard is leaving, [Jamie] Carragher, also a fantastic enemy, he left last season.

“This is mother nature, we cant stop it, but we can get great memories of our great opponents.”

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Gerrard is moving to America in the summer after a prolific Premier League spell

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard returned the compliment as he hailed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after their 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Gerrard scored the equaliser a minute before half time, cancelling out John Terry’s opener after just five minutes.

Ahead of what was Gerrard’s final game at Stamford Bridge in a Liverpool shirt, Mourinho called the veteran midfielder his favourite enemy, and the Liverpool captain returned the compliment by calling the ‘Special One’ the best manager in the world.

Gerrard said: “I’ve got huge respect for him, he’s the best manager in the world for me. I’d have signed for him three times if I wasn’t a Liverpool fan and Liverpool wasn’t in my heart.

“He’s the reason why my head was turned on a couple of occasions, but he understood why I couldn’t do it, and that’s because I love Liverpool Football Club.”

When asked whether he would of followed Mourinho to Real Madrid, Inter, or even Chelsea, Gerrard said that home comes first:

“I did [wonder] at the time, but I always said to myself if I win a couple of trophies at Liverpool it would mean more to me than to win 10 at Chelsea, Real Madrid or Inter Milan. It always means more to win it for your people.”

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JOSE MOURINHO
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking to Chelsea website ahead of the game with Liverpool, manager José Mourinho stated again that he would like to be the Blues manager for many years to come, wanting to develop a winning team at Stamford Bridge:

“We have improved. We have gone from third to first – two very important steps, and probably the most difficult steps. The most difficult step is the one that makes you champions, and we have made that step.

“I want to develop this team. I didn’t stay at Inter or Real Madrid because I didn’t want to stay. I want to stay here. That is why I am in Mr Abramovich’s hands.

“He has no pressure. He doesn’t need to give me a contract tomorrow, he doesn’t need to give me more money, and he doesn’t need to be worried a club are knocking on my door.

“While he wants me, I am staying, and when he doesn’t want me, I am going. It’s so simple for him, and also so simple for me.”

Chelsea are already Premier League champions, but Mourinho knows the three upcoming games will be difficult, starting today with Liverpool’s visit to Stamford Bridge:

“The only thing Crystal Palace [last Sunday] didn’t do was send the goalkeeper forward for the last corner. They were playing a final, like it has to be.

“Watford lost the title against a team that didn’t need anything [Sheffield Wednesday]. They went to Watford and in the last minute they scored a goal and celebrated like they had won the title. This is football.

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