Monday, April 30, 2007

Jose demands fresh focus as Quadruple bid crumbles


As Gary Speed so amusingly explained, the pre-match reports of Sam Allardyce's imminent departure did not unsettle a united Bolton dressing room. "Half our lads can't read and the other half can't speak English," said the skipper with a wry smile.

But Chelsea's players performed in a fashion that suggested they had agonised over every word of their manager's programme notes.

"Welcome to our 59th game of the season and Bolton's 41st," wrote Jose Mourinho.

"On Wednesday we took a halftime lead in the Champions League semi-final. Bolton had a rest. They were able to prepare for today's match. We have had to rest."

If Mourinho was trying to convince his side they remained capable of winning an unprecedented Quadruple, reminding them just how demanding a season it has been was perhaps not the wisest thing to do. Nor, for that matter, was making six changes to a team who, having beaten Liverpool on Wednesday, now have to bounce back from this crushing setback and protect a one-goal advantage at Anfield tomorrow night.

Fortunately for Chelsea, Mourinho seemed keen to focus minds on the next challenge rather than dwell too long on what went wrong here.

He could not help but have another pop at Cristiano Ronaldo. His ego once again got the better of him there.

Mourinho did, however, dismiss talk of another conspiracy when it was pointed out that Manchester United's equaliser at Goodison Park had been scored by the brother of the United captain'.

A certain Phil Neville no less, once of Old Trafford and now of Everton and someone, Mourinho may now have seen, who had his hair ruffled by an ecstatic Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of his team's 4-2 victory.

Mourinho said he was nobody to doubt the moral integrity of a player' and then did his best to ignore the fact that he may have lost his best defender of the season' for the second leg of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final.

Ricardo Carvalho's knee injury was bad', he said, before noting the Portuguese centre half's absence when Chelsea lost at Anfield in the Premiership earlier this season.

Surgery for Michael Ballack means the German will also be missing but Mourinho was determined to look on the bright side.

When they lost to Liverpool in the Champions League semifinal two years ago they had just won the title with victory at Bolton. "Who knows," he said.

"This time we lose two crucial points and we go there and we go to the Final."

The positive mental attitude mantra then continued. "It's always better when you win," he said. "Happiness helps your legs and your physical condition.

"But I think it helps having the game on Tuesday because there is no time to be sad. It is very, very important to be strong mentally and to understand the big game we are playing on Tuesday. That's the best way to forget it."

Mourinho delivered a rousing speech to his players immediately after this match. "I had my team-talk with them after the game," he revealed. "It was nothing special but I wanted them to remember where we are and what we are doing and what we have to do.

"They have still achieved a lot and have a lot they can win. They have a big chance on Tuesday to do something incredible for their careers and for this club.

"We won two titles in England in the previous two seasons and we tried, and we keep trying, to get the Treble.

"But if we can reach another final, like we reached two already this season, the Carling Cup and the FA Cup, if we can reach the Champions League Final, be second in the Premiership and reach three finals, that will be an unbelievable feeling."

Second in the Premiership? It appears he has now all but conceded defeat in the title race.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Jose Mourinho's 10 most arrogant quotes


Just think how much less interesting the Premiership would be without Jose.

1 'Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.'
The quote that started it all, uttered not long after Mourinho had arrived at Chelsea, in 2004.

2 'If I wanted to have an easy job… I would have stayed at Porto… beautiful blue chair, the Uefa Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me.'
Only God is more special than Jose and don't you forget it.

3 'We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager.'
Don't apologise for being arrogant Jose. It never stopped you before.

4 'The best team lost. After they scored only one team played, the other one just defended for the whole game.'
Jose is not a happy bunny when Liverpool knock Chelsea out of the Champions League semi final in 2005.

5 'I want to give my congratulations to them because they won. But we were the best team. We didn't lose the game.'
After Chelsea lost to Charlton in the 2005 Carling Cup. You see a 'best team lost' theme here?

6 'My history as a manager cannot be compared with Frank Rijkaard's history. He has zero trophies and I have a lot of them…'
I bet Mourinho's dad is harder than Rijkaard's dad too.

7 'We are on top at the moment but not because of the club's financial power. We are in contention for a lot of trophies because of my hard work.'
Yes, but the multi-millions sure help.

8 'The crowd is magnificent, singing "F**k off Mourinho!" and so on…'
Only Jose is arrogant enough to be flattered by abuse from the terraces.

9 'Who were (Frank) Lampard, (John) Terry and (Didier) Drogba two years ago? They were certainly not world stars. And in this moment who are they?'
Well done, you have indeed turned shit into gold.

10 'Barcelona have a great club. But in 200 years of history they have won the European Cup only once. I have been managing for a few years and I have already won the same amount.'
Well, he had a point - until Barca went on to win the Champions League in 2006.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


"We have top players, and I'm sorry I'm a bit arrogant, we have a top manager."



The Wikipedia Article

José Mourinho, (full name: José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix) (born January 26, 1963 in Setúbal) is a Portuguese football manager and the current manager of Premier League club Chelsea. He is the son of Félix Mourinho, a former Portuguese international goalkeeper.

Mourinho is considered to be one of the best coaches in Europe, having won four consecutive league titles (two at Porto and two at Chelsea) and also the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup with Porto. For two consecutive years (2004 and 2005), Mourinho was named the world's best football coach by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). He is well-known for his self-belief, dapper attire, and has at times been a controversial figure.


Early years

Mourinho's playing career consisted of a few generally unsuccessful spells at small clubs. His clear aptitude was his impressive managing and organisational ability and from an early age he prepared match reports and dossiers for his father's teams. He also has a degree in Physical Education, specialising in sports methodology and worked as a high school coach.

After low-key backroom jobs at Estrela da Amadora and his hometown club Vitória de Setúbal in the early 1990s, Mourinho soon earned the nickname Tradutor (translator), when he worked with Sir Bobby Robson as his translator (technically his interpreter) at both Sporting Lisbon and then F.C. Porto.

He then followed Robson to FC Barcelona in 1996 where he learned Catalan. When Robson left for PSV, Mourinho stayed at Barcelona and worked with Robson's replacement, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal. Mourinho's undoubted confidence and personality helped him get beyond his original role, as he began to participate actively in coaching sessions and management meetings. Eventually, Mourinho coached FC Barcelona B.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica and União de Leiria

In 2000 his chance of becoming a manager finally arrived when he was selected to replace Jupp Heynckes at Lisbon side Benfica after the fourth week of the Portuguese Liga. Mourinho picked Carlos Mozer, a retired but still highly respected Benfica defender, to be his assistant.

However, while the duo was popular, especially after a 3-0 win against fierce rivals Sporting, Benfica's election turned against club president João Vale e Azevedo, and the newly-elected Manuel Vilarinho already had another coach waiting on the wings, Toni - a legend for Benfica's fans. Although Vilarinho had no intention of firing him immediately, Mourinho decided to ask for an extension to his contract in the middle of the season. When the president refused, Mourinho quit Benfica (after just nine games in charge). Vilarinho later said in an interview that if Mourinho had won the championship, he would have extended his contract.

The next season, 2001-02, Mourinho worked for unfashionable mid-tablers União de Leiria, where the club climbed as high as the fourth place.

F.C. Porto

He was then hand-picked in January 2002 by FCP to replace Octávio Machado as the manager of the badly-motivated and unhappy team, which was already out of contention for the league title and was on the verge of not qualifying for any European competition. Mourinho guided the team to third place that year after a strong 15-game run (WDL 11-2-2) and gave the promise of "making FCP champions next year".

He quickly identified several key players whom he saw as the backbone of what he believed would be a perfect FCP team: Baía, Ricardo Carvalho, Costinha, Deco, Dmitri Alenichev and Postiga. He recalled captain Jorge Costa after a six-month loan to Charlton Athletic (after a dispute with Machado). The signings from other clubs included Nuno Valente and Derlei from Leiria, Paulo Ferreira from Vitória Setúbal, Pedro Emanuel from Boavista FC, and Edgaras Jankauskas and Maniche who had been out of contract at Benfica, the latter after a season in the reserve.

During the pre-season, Mourinho put on the club website detailed reports on the team training. The reports were filled with formal vocabulary, as, for instance, he referred to a 20km jog as an extended aerobic exercise. While they attracted scorn for the pretentiousness, others praised the innovation and the scientific approach to the old-fashioned training methods practiced in Portugal. One of the key aspects in Mourinho-era FCP was the pressurising play, which started at the offensive line, dubbed "pressão alta" ("high pressure"). The physical and combative abilities of defenders and midfielders such as Derlei, Maniche and Deco allowed FCP to apply pressure from the offensive lines and forced the opponents either to concede the ball or try longer passes.

In 2003, Mourinho won his first Super Liga with a 27-5-2 WDL record, 11 points clear of Benfica, the team he quit two years earlier. The total of 86 points out of the possible maximum of 102 was a Portuguese record since the rule of three points per win was introduced, beating the previous record of 85 points set by FCP in their 1996/97 season. Mourinho also won the Portuguese Cup (against former club Leiria) and the UEFA Cup final against Celtic in Seville, both in May 2003.

The following season witnessed further successes, as while perhaps not playing as impressively, FCP scooped their 20th Super Liga title. The club pulled off a perfect home record, an eight-points advantage, and an unbeaten run that only ended against Gil Vicente FC. They secured the title five weeks before the end of the season, while heavily involved in the Champions League at the same time. FCP lost the Portuguese Cup final to Benfica in May 2004, but two weeks later Mourinho won the ultimate prize: the Champions League, with an emphatic 3-0 win over Monaco in the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The club had eliminated Manchester United, Olympique Lyonnais and Deportivo de La Coruña and saw only one defeat against Real Madrid in the group round.

Porto to Chelsea

Whilst still at FCP, Mourinho was linked with several top European clubs, including Liverpool and Chelsea. Many people, especially in Portugal, questioned the legality of alleged contract discussions with several clubs, but no wrongdoing was officially proved, and no charges were brought. Mourinho finally moved to Chelsea in June 2004.

In the press conference on joining the English side, Mourinho claimed to be "a special one", a prime example of his unreserved self-belief. He became one of the highest paid managers in football, as the salary for Chelsea was reported to be in the €300,000 range and was subsequently raised to an undisclosed amount.


Mourinho went straight to work, recruiting his backroom staff from Porto, consisting of assistant manager Baltemar Brito, fitness coach Rui Faria, chief scout Andre Villas and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro. He retained the services of Steve Clarke, a long-serving former player at Chelsea and who had also performed an assistant managerial-type job under previous managers at the club. In terms of spending, Mourinho carried on where his predecessor Claudio Ranieri left off, and spent in excess of £70m on stars such as Tiago Mendes (£10million) from Benfica, Didier Drogba (£24million) from Olympique Marseille, Mateja Kezman (£5.4million) from PSV Eindhoven and FC Porto pair Ricardo Carvalho (£19.8million) and Paulo Ferreira (£13.3million)

Under Mourinho, Chelsea built on the potential developed in the previous season. The two solid English players summed up the strength of the squad: defender John Terry, and midfielder Frank Lampard. By early December, they were at the top of the Premiership table and reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League. On 27 February 2005, Mourinho led Chelsea to the League Cup trophy in Cardiff, Wales, dramatically beating Liverpool 3-2 after extra time. Towards the end of the match, Mourinho was escorted from the touchline for allegedly inciting Liverpool fans following Chelsea's equaliser. On 30 April 2005, Chelsea secured the club's first top-flight domestic title in 50 years with a 2-0 victory against Bolton. However, he failed to achieve back-to-back Champions League successes when Chelsea were knocked out of the competition, by a controversial goal, three days later in the semi-finals by eventual winners Liverpool.

On 31 March 2005 Mourinho was handed a two-match suspension and a fine by UEFA for bringing the game into disrepute after he had criticised referee Anders Frisk following a Champions League tie against FC Barcelona. He argued that a member of his staff saw Frisk talking with Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard at half-time in breach of the rules and that the apparent bias of the referee prompted him to send Drogba off when Chelsea were leading 1-0.[1]Frisk subsequently retired when he allegedly came under threats to his life after the match. As it was later revealed, Rijkaard had tried to converse with Frisk at half-time - the referee's own match report mentioned the incident - but that Frisk sent him away. The episode led the UEFA referee's chief, Volker Roth, to describe the manager as an "enemy of football," although UEFA distanced themselves from the comment.

On 2 June 2005, he was fined £200,000 for his part in the meeting with Arsenal full-back Ashley Cole in January 2005 in breach of the Premier League rules. In August 2005 his fine was reduced to £75,000 after a hearing. In late 2005, Mourinho labelled Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger a 'voyeur' after being irked at what he saw as the latter's apparent obsession with Chelsea. The episode eventually died down and the two have since made peace.

On April 29, 2006, after topping the table for nearly all season, Chelsea beat rivals Manchester United 3-0 to win their second consecutive Premiership title and Mourinho's fourth domestic title in a row. After the presentation of his championship medal, Mourinho went to the Matthew Harding end of Stamford Bridge and threw his medal and blazer into the crowd. He was awarded a second medal within minutes and he threw that into the crowd, too. He stated that because the medal was exactly the same as the one he had received a year earlier, he did not need another and wanted to reward the crowd for their support. The items were promptly listed on eBay.

After a league match with Everton on December 17th, 2006, Mourinho branded Andrew Johnson "untrustworthy" following a challenge with Chelsea keeper Hilário. Everton issued a statement threatening legal action and calling on Mourinho to apologise, which he has since done.

On 13 January 2006, The Straits Times reported that Mourinho intended to leave Chelsea at the end of the 2006-7 season, due to disappointment with the team's performance and a power struggle with Frank Arnesen. Mourinho recently cleared all doubts regarding his future at Stamford Bridge, stating that there would only be two ways for him to leave Chelsea: if Chelsea do not offer him a new contract in June 2010, and if Chelsea sacks him.

On February 25, 2007, Mourinho won the League Cup with Chelsea for the second time in three seasons, beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium.