Mourinho rounds on critics as Wigan await champions

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger asked the first questions about Mourinho's "direct" approach after the Community Shield and the allegation has stuck. Now that they have their first Premiership title, Chelsea will find themselves dissected for their style. Mourinho said he believed it was infinitely adaptable.

In response to Wenger's criticisms, the Chelsea manager took a few moments to list all the different ways that his team can play as well as the direct route to Didier Drogba that Arsenal found so distasteful last weekend. It is likely that Jewell, in Wigan's first top-flight match, will be more concerned with how to contain the champions than considering the aesthetic value of their attacks.

"I want to win and the only way to win is to play well," Mourinho said. "One of the concepts of playing well is to play in relation to the weakness of your opponents. If you want to call that direct football or whatever, you can, but I call it playing to the weaknesses of your opponents. Our style is a winning style; sometimes the winning style is to play direct football.

"This is the style of someone who works every day to be ready to adapt to every circumstance. Some managers insist on their teams always playing the same way, whereas other managers adapt."

He and Jewell have met this summer at Chelsea's new headquarters in Surrey, and Mourinho said that he was impressed with his opposite number. He does not feel the same way about Wenger, who joked that the Community Shield was no longer recognised as a trophy and therefore held no interest for him any longer.

"It's the first time I have heard a manager say 'I don't care about a result because I have won it four times'. So how many times have they won the Premiership - so they don't need to win anymore? If Sir Alex [Ferguson] says the same I will be very happy but he won't because he wants to win again.

"We have to try to win every time. I admire managers who think this is my style and I don't care about the opponents. I am not saying I am right and they are wrong - there are different ways of approaching it."

With a full squad at his disposal, Mourinho repeated his warning to those players who will not play every match that this was "life at a big club". "You have to choose between being at a big club or a small one. If you are playing for the champions then you have to accept that you will not be in the team every week."