Relaxed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho answers his critics ‘footballistically’

After being told Chelsea had made their worst start to the Premier League in 10 years, Mourinho responds after 2-0 victory puts them top of the league

While Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, was expecting a good night’s sleep on Saturday, a good few of the club’s supporters may have been lying awake pondering how Juan Mata can be held in such low esteem compared with Samuel Eto’o.

It is dangerous for even the most successful managers to appear to have favourites, even if Mourinho has been prepared to explain publicly some of his thinking. Speaking in some detail about the two players and their very different treatment, he was doing so from a position of strength after a 2-0 win at home to neighbouring Fulham took his team to the top of the table for 24 hours: the drug of victory, he claimed.

“To win is the real doping,” as he put it. “The day after, you wake up early and it’s easy. Very, very easy to go to training. So we needed a victory to relax a little bit and we go from there. There is more confidence. They will be more open for tactical work and analysing the situation.”

What he also hopes for is that players such as Mata, David Luiz, Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta will be champing at the bit to prove their worth in tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup tie at Swindon. It is not the competition that any of that expensive quartet signed up for, but the County Ground in Wiltshire is where they must convince the manager of their value ahead of three further away games at Tottenham, Steaua Bucharest and Norwich.

Only Torres of those four made it on to the pitch on Saturday, for half an hour as a substitute. If not outstanding, he looked superior to Eto’o, who is not the player he was for Mourinho at Internazionale after wasting two years in the financial playground of Anzhi Makhachkala.

“Samuel is, for me, understandable,” Mourinho said. “When you are on the top of the world for almost 10 years and then you go to a different reality – we know he went there for economic reasons – footballistically, it is not a challenge for a player who plays all his life for Barcelona, Inter Milan and in the Champions League. I knew his level would go down but for me he is a very good player. When he has the ball at his feet it is easy to see the player he is. He is lacking sharpness but that is normal. Fernando is the opposite situation. He is very strong, sharp, I’m happy with him and he has my trust.”

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own