'It's one thing to play for Everton, another to play for Chelsea': Jose Mourinho has no regrets letting Romelu Lukaku leave

The Belgian has already scored three times during his loan spell with Everton, while those that remained at Stamford Bridge are yet to get off the mark in the Premier League

Jose Mourinho has made the surprising admission that his squad is not strong enough to dominate the Premier League like his side did back in 2004-05 when he first took over at Stamford Bridge, despite letting Romelu Lukaku leave on for Everton.

Mourinho landed the first Premier League title for the Blues in 50 years when he introduced a brand of power football to the club, which saw them set the record haul of 95 points in the process. Yet Lukaku, who has been compared to the powerful Didier Drogba, was allowed to join Everton for the season.

Asked whether he regretted letting Lukaku leave, Mourinho answered: "One thing is to play for Everton, another thing is to play for Chelsea.” The fact that Lukaku has already scored three goals, compared to the two goals from Fernando Torres in cup competitions and both Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba are yet to get off the mark, wasn’t mentioned.

However, Mourinho’s return to Chelsea has seen him arrive to one of the most open Premier League campaigns since its inception, with London sides Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool setting the early pace, while Manchester City and Chelsea remain in the mix.

The one surprise is Manchester United’s worst league start in 24 years, although they have plenty of time to move into contention and make it a six-way fight for the top.

The Portuguese’s side have already dropped seven points from six matches, leaving them fifth in the table on 11 points. However, their second-half performance against Spurs last week saw them dominate until Torres was dismissed for a second booking, and the 4-0 Champions League win over Steaua Bucharest suggests that they are finally getting to grips with the new season.

"In relation to my team at this moment we are not strong enough to be dominant in every match and win consecutively. That is my point of view," Mourinho said in a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Norwich.

"I think the league will be open until the end. At this moment some teams are being helped by the fixtures, some are more difficult than others.

"Manchester United have the most difficult one, immediately followed by us. I think by the end of November, that is the moment we will find out somebody is in a little bit better situation than others.

"I think this season can go all the way and I think that is good."

Mourinho will be without Torres after he picked up a knee injury in the win in Romania that has ruled him out for around three weeks, although he would have been suspended anyway for his red card at White Hart Lane.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas criticised Torres, and labelled the Football Association's disciplinary system a "disgrace" after they chose not to extend the Spaniard's one-match ban.

Torres received a yellow card for scratching Vertonghen Torres received a yellow card for scratching Vertonghen  

But Mourinho refused to taunt his former assistant in response, although he couldn't resist having another pop at defender Jan Vertonghen for what he saw as a clear dive to get Torres booked.

"I don't comment on others' opinions," Mourinho said.

"My opinion is simple. For some reason English football is English football. For some reason the Premier League is the most important championship and the most loved worldwide.

"One of the reasons is because people enjoy aggression, people enjoy emotion, people enjoy sometimes a loss of a little bit of control.

"People don't enjoy simulation. The (one) game (ban) for Fernando was more than enough, because the second yellow card came from simulation.

"I think the FA defend what is the principles and the values of English football.

"Against Tottenham, we did a fantastic second half. We didn't win because Vertonghen did fantastic."

There was a boost though with Eden Hazard returning to training on Friday, with the Belgian fit to play some part in the match whether it be in the starting line-up or from the bench. Marco van Ginkel remains a long-term absentee as he begins his recovery from knee surgery after damaging his cruciate knee ligament.

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories