Jose Mourinho hints at defying Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in bid to avoid further defeats
Portuguese may have to dilute his team's current cavalier style
Jose Mourinho could be on a collision course with Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, after admitting he may have to dilute the team's current cavalier style.
Mourinho saw the League Cup, the first trophy he won after becoming manager for the first time at Stamford Bridge, slip out of view on another night of frustration at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager could not hide his growing unease with the kind of football that has been demanded by Abramovich after another defeat away from home, the fourth time this season he has lost to English opposition.
Mourinho was supposed to be able to blend the creative talents that had been assembled in recent years when he took over for the second time at the Bridge in the summer.
The 50-year-old has inherited a squad laden with potential creativity in the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, André Schürrle, Juan Mata, Oscar and Kevin De Bruyne. Mourinho's remit was to fit the lavish talents into a team capable of winning trophies but four defeats on the road in games his side dominated for long periods have raised questions about whether he can deliver Abramovich's vision.
"If I want to win 1-0 I can. It is one of the easiest things in football, it is not difficult," he said. "You organise from the defensive idea. You don't give freedom to your players to express themselves. I don't want to do it but I am giving serious consideration to it."
In his first season, Chelsea won 13 games 1-0 in all competitions. So far they have won just a single match by that scoreline, against Steaua Bucharest last week. Any change in style back to that more pragmatic football now, whether subtle or more blatant from Mourinho, will sit uncomfortably with Abramovich's grand plan of reinventing Chelsea.
Mourinho refused to criticise his players directly for squandering more opportunities on Tuesday, but the strike force of Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres (in the absence of Romelu Lukaku, on loan at Everton) seems to lack the cutting edge to deliver the kind of football demanded by Abramovich. The trio have scored just five Premier League goals between them this season.
Missed chances were again key in the quarter-final extra-time defeat to Sunderland, whose midfielder Seb Larsson said: "We just never gave up. The first half was pretty even. They had a good spell but you just have to stick in there and not get too frustrated."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes
Nigel Pearson: Leicester City sack manager despite Premier League survival
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United forward 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS