Chelsea boss has stoked the fires ahead of Premier League season in typical Mourinho fashion…
Jose Mourinho admires Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City signings, but has put pressure on them to perform straight away, reports The Mirror.
“I know the players City have bought and they are players without surprises. They are more than ready. If you see their ages, their maturity, they are in the perfect moment of their career to go to England,” said Chelsea’s returning maverick boss.
“They have no need for adaptation, no need of work to learn the project. They are players at the top of their careers, experienced but still young, so I think they’ve bought very very well.
“So of course people should be expecting more of them, with their experience, than my young team.
“Young players are not at the best they will be. They need to learn, they need time to get to the top.”
Whether this is actually the case, remains to be seen. Despite claiming less is expected of his side, Jose Mourinho has taken over a multi-million pound squad, full of star players – who won the Champions League and the Europa League in the past two seasons.
“They bought very well. That doesn’t surprise me, because they have the money to buy but also the knowledge. They have people in the club that know a lot about football,” continued the Portuguese manager.
“In my first spell you (the media) were always putting pressure on me saying: ‘You buy this, you spend that, you buy the title’. So I hope now it is on the other side.”
Mourinho has encouraged the media to focus on City’s spending habits instead of Chelsea’s – but it would be impossible for the press to focus entirely on Pellegrini when Mourinho provides them with such a constant flow of column inches.
“When people ask what it will mean if we win the title, I say there are no ‘ifs’ – either we win or we don’t,” added the 50-year-old, in his typical ambiguous style.
“It would be different. It can be better because I always say that the best trophy you have is the most recent one.
“If we win this season, with this group, it will be the best for many reasons.”
Although Mourinho would like to be rated as underdogs for the Premier League title, most bookmakers have actually installed the West Londoners as the early favourites, due to Chelsea’s success during his first reign at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho’s comments seem more passive and respectful than many he made during his first stint in England – but the media will be delighted to see his fondness for mind-games has not died.
The quotes also indicate that Chelsea could their faith in younger players this season. Romelu Lukaku has returned from a loan spell and could challenge Fernando Torres for starting spot, and 20-year-old Marco Van Ginkel and 22-year-old Andre Schurrle have been bought in for large fees.
Chelsea begin their Premier League challenge at home to Hull City on August 18.