Jose Mourinho goes on defensive over Samuel Eto'o age comments after French broadcaster secretly records conversation

Chelsea manager still upset at what he considers a betrayal by Canal Plus

Istanbul

Jose Mourinho began with a lecture on the ethics of the media, an admonishment to the French broadcasters Canal Plus for recording a private conversation of his in which he voiced an opinion everyone else has held for a while: that Chelsea really could do with a top-notch striker.

It was all a bit of an embarrassment, especially Mourinho's joke about doubts over the age of Samuel Eto'o, and the Chelsea manager was still chewing on what he considered a betrayal, 24 hours after the video was first uploaded onto the Canal Plus website. "It's a real disgrace," he said at his press conference at the team's base in Istanbul, of an informal chat recorded after he gave an interview to the French as part of a personal deal with the watch manufacturers Hublot.

It is unlikely that Canal Plus will find themselves welcomed into the Mourinho inner sanctum any time soon, whether he has an endorsement to promote or not. Even by the standards of a deeply competitive industry, it was a cheap trick, reflected in the fact that Canal Plus later took the video down. It had the unusual effect of placing Mourinho on the defensive, a position in which he has found himself a lot less than his team since his return to Chelsea in the summer.

Read more: All Mancini left at Inter Milan was a five-a-side team - Mourinho
Mourinho goes on defensive over Eto'o comments
Facing Drogba is strange - Mourinho
Match preview
Chelsea fan stabbed in Istanbul

The joke about the age of Eto'o was, he said, "from my perspective, obviously not a good one and obviously not something I would do in a serious way." He added: "First of all, because I don't make fun. Secondly, because if there are managers in the world who really defend their players, I'm obviously one of them."

He will need Eto'o again against Galatasaray and there is understood to be no problem between player and manager over the issue. Fernando Torres has not started a game for Mourinho since he returned from injury. This is a tie that Mourinho and Chelsea are expected to win, even if they are up against a side with an excellent home record and the familiar schtick of the underdogs, that Mourinho has pursued for so long, will not wash again if they fall to one of the competition's less-fancied sides. With Didier Drogba preparing for a hero's return to Stamford Bridge in three weeks' time and an old adversary in Roberto Mancini, this journey to Istanbul is not without potential pitfalls, some as deep as some of those potholes on the road up to Chelsea's temporary training base outside the city.

The pitch at the Türk Telekom Arena is bad and neither team trained there today, Mourinho preferring to use the training ground of Super League club Kasimpasa. He came to Istanbul last season with Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, having first beaten Fatih Terim's team 3-0 at the Bernabeu and lost the second leg 3-2. On that occasion, Alvaro Arbeloa was red-carded and Galatasaray pursued the game to the very end, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second in the final minute.

Galatasaray beat Juventus here in December after the infamous snowstorm caused the game to be abandoned and then resumed a day later to earn their place in the last 16, a result in which Mourinho took special interest. "Juve was a special situation because of the snow," Mourinho said. "But even in the first match, when there was no snow and they had to stop the game, the pitch was not in the best condition. I think it favours them because they are a very competitive side, very physical, very aggressive.

"They play with their strength and their experience, with their know-how. For my people, like Oscar and [Eden] Hazard, it is an experience to catch with both hands and learn." Judging by training, David Luiz will be fit to start if that is what Mourinho chooses to do. Mancini said that the aim was that his team gave themselves "a chance in London". His side are unbeaten in 11 games since the defeat to Real Madrid in late November and the home tie against the Spanish side in September is the solitary defeat at home all season.

"When you speak about Drogba and [Wesley] Sneijder, you are speaking about two of the best in the world, two Champions League winners," Mourinho said. "They are a very difficult side for us with some characteristics that make it even more difficult for us. The stadium is difficult, the crowd is difficult, even at Stamford Bridge they will bring lots of fans and put pressure on the opponents and on referees and decisions. We have a very difficult tie."

That was not the way that Mancini or Sneijder saw it. The Galatasaray manager declared Chelsea "80 per cent favourites", adding, for the benefit of his interpreter, "that's 80 per cent, not 18 per cent". Sneijder, who won the competition with Mourinho at Internazionale in 2010, was more upbeat but in no doubt as to who the favourites were. "It'll be a hard game, a tough game, but we've prepared well," he said. "We'll see what happens, but we feel really confident."

Mourinho's record in the competition is superb and if he makes the last four this season, it will be the eighth time he has done so in the last 10 years. In contrast, Mancini has made the quarter-finals just once in six seasons in the competition with Inter and Manchester City. In Turkey, he has to deal with the limitation on foreign players in domestic games, with only six permitted to play at any one time, but against Chelsea that will be different.

There has been a lot of talk about old friendships but at the heart of this game is the animosity between Mancini and Mourinho. The two men do not like each other. So far, Mourinho's trip has been overtaken by events beyond his control but it could get worse.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Life and Style
tech
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines