The 2014/15 Season: Jose Knows

Our Premier League campaign might not kick-off until Monday but in yesterday’s press conference, Jose Mourinho sounded more than ready for the new season. Our first XI might be a different matter, with the Chelsea boss confirming “Probably the first two or three matches will be more about the team that is ready than what I have in my mind as a first-team choice,” but that doesn’t seem to be bothering him unnecessarily.
Despite the obvious questions around finishing last season without a trophy, Mourinho laughed off suggestions he’s somehow regarded as under more pressure than any of the opposition managers, saying “Why? Some they have 10 years to win something, I have only two?” Obviously the press have taken that as a direct dig at Arsene Wenger because he has after all gone ten years without a title. The reality is though, he was just asking a question they can’t answer, why indeed would Jose be under any more pressure than his rivals?
Yes, it’s quite un-Mourinho like to end a campaign trophy-less but then he did go to great lengths throughout that season to point out he was managing a team that wasn’t anywhere near the finished article as far as he was concerned. And he was right to because sure enough, as soon as summer arrived the club responded with the acquisition of the players he requested.
In acknowledgement of that response, Mourinho says “I love the club because the club was fantastic and gave me the three targets I was asking for, in the left back, a midfield player and a strike. In fact, they gave me two strikers because Didier is also back.We have bought three people in Filipe, Diego and Fabregas, all in the best stage for a football player, between 25 and 30. They are three experienced players with quality to strengthen immediately our team.
Last season we went into the season with a different profile when we bought people like Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle; people that needed some time. We also went to people like Kurt Zouma, but these players — Cesc, Costa and Luis — are ready.
The squad improves, for sure, and the team can show qualities on the pitch that in the past we didn’t. The team has to be better. But obviously, this is the Premier League and every team tries to be better, especially at the top. Are we ready for that? Yes we are but this is England. In other countries the title race is between two teams and sometimes only one. Here it is between five or six.

Almost before Mourinho had left the building, we were reading how his reference to inheriting ready made squads was not only a dig at the opposition but also completely hypocritical given the squad he picked up from Claudio Ranieri – talk about living in the bloody past!
If they’d bothered paying more attention to what Mourinho was actually saying rather than daydreaming over the headlines they could scrounge out of it, they’d have noted Mourinho clarified “I’m not a very intelligent guy to choose teams. I like to work. I like to build. I don’t like easy jobs. I don’t like to get clubs worked by other managers before me. I don’t like to arrive on time to collect the fruits off their trees.
I came to Chelsea [last season] at a moment when one team was over and another needed to be born – and at the same time I came to the only league where four, five, six can compete for the title
Still, that’s the past and unlike everyone around him in whatever press conference he happens to hold, Jose Mourinho has put that behind him to focus on the future, saying “I like the players, the persons, the guys, I like their interaction, I like to belong to them. I have a very good feeling. During my career, the years with more success were the years where I had exactly this feeling. When I like my players, I work well.”
Summed up by Jose Mourinho then: “At the end of the season you, the supporters and the players will judge my work. And most important, my boss, my owner, my board will judge my work.”
Or better still, summed up in my favourite tweet of the entire pre-season: @stanic007: Mourinho is in form already. Bastard’s gonna win the league and he knows it.


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