Jose Mourinho is up to his old tricks again. After a devastating, unbeaten start to the Premier League season, Chelsea and Mourinho have faltered in recent weeks. An uninspiring goalless draw against Sunderland, was followed by surprising defeat to a spirited and revitalized Newcastle team, in a fractious, disjointed display by Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Before this blip, Chelsea were peerless in the early weeks of the season. As you would expect from a Jose Mourinho side, they boast a well drilled and experienced defense, an intelligent, balanced midfield, and a gun-slinging, street fighting center forward in Diego Costa. But just when the media were starting to debate whether Jose Mourinho’s current Chelsea team could emulate the great, invincible Arsenal team of 2003-4 by finishing the season without defeat, the wheels appear to be coming off.
— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) December 12, 2014
And typically of Mourinho, he is trying to turn the attention and pressure onto Manuel Pellegini’s Manchester City. With City’s star striker, Sergio Aguero, injured, Mourino has insisted that his Chelsea team won’t be taking their challenge lightly. Rather than dwelling on a recent dip in form, Mourinho has chosen to lavish praise on Manchester City, claiming “they have a magnificent squad, full of top players, of end products.”
“These are not young people to develop. If he doesn’t play one player, he plays another one. He went to Roma to play a Champions League match without two or three important players, and they won. Just because one player is missing, they don’t have a problem.”
But despite praising Pellegrini’s expensively assembled squad, Jose Mourinho says he has no plans to sign any new players during the January transfer window.
Chelsea are entering a critical phase of their season, with matches coming thick and fast. They face a difficult run of six fixtures in 19 days, including a Capital One Cup quarter-final against Derby County. This means that Mourinho is likely to risk blooding youth and rotate a squad that has benefited hugely from consistent selection and minimal disruption.
“I don’t think a single player will play all six matches. What crosses my mind is to win the next match. It doesn’t matter what match it is, or what competition.”
Next up for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea is Saturday’s match against Hull, a team that have never beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Although they will be expected to win, the pressure is very much on the home side to deliver a convincing performance. Historically, Jose Mourinho has managed to navigate testing periods of the season and congested fixture lists with apparent ease. And if Mourinho is once again smiling at the end of December, the Premier League trophy could very well be returning to Stamford Bridge.