Toothless, not ruthless – Jose Mourinho ready to wield axe at Chelsea following 2-0 defeat to Newcastle
‘I don’t know my best team,’ admits manager angry with a side still to embrace his philosophy
Jose Mourinho was angry following defeat to Newcastle. We know that because he told us. He said it to everyone who asked. He did not, however, tell his players, and that was more revealing. The 2-0 defeat was the opportunity to distance himself from the team he inherited in the summer from the seven men who had managed Chelsea since he left. It is not the machine he built and left in 2007. This team is not ruthless. The players are still to embrace Mourinho’s philosophy.
“You have to know why you win and you don’t win by a miracle,” he said. “You win by effort, by commitment, by ambition, by quality, by expressing yourself individually but in the team context. You have to know why you win and I tell my players every time I can, ‘Don’t forget why you are getting results’.”
Chelsea have won one game away from Stamford Bridge in the Premier League: one win in five now. They won three of their first five when Mourinho marched into English football in 2004. They are five points down on that season’s tally away from home. They are five points behind Arsenal. The bar on how to start a season was raised by Mourinho back then, and certainly his finger was pointing at a soft underbelly that has developed at his old club since he left.
Last season Chelsea finished 14 points behind the division’s eventual winners. The season before it was 25 points. Both distant finishes were mentioned. It is not his Chelsea. If he could have shouted it without alienating his own dressing room, Mourinho would have done. It felt like he had been waiting for the time to remind everyone in it of what they need to do and to those outside what the 2013 Chelsea do not have. They did not have appetite against Newcastle. They were not ruthless in a one-sided first half when business could have been taken care of.
Newcastle were a different team after the break. Yoan Gouffran headed in a Yohan Cabaye free-kick in the 69th minute and Loïc Rémy scored a fine second at the death. By then the home side were deserved winners.
“I don’t know my best team because we have this kind of performance,” added Mourinho. “I know basically which is my best team but it depends on the way we perform, because performances and results alter your decisions. I have to analyse by another perspective, which is the perspective of why we don’t do better, especially today. Today was the worst. Today is the kind of match I really have to analyse deeply because it was the worst.
“It is fair to say I am angry and frustrated. I am angry and frustrated with the team and I am part of the team. I will look at myself as well. Every game is important. Wednesday [against Schalke] is important because we are in a stable position to qualify in the Champions League, but if we lose we are again in a difficult position. It is a very important game for us.”
Saturday’s was also a hugely important victory for Newcastle’s manager, Alan Pardew. Newcastle had lost to Sunderland in the league and Manchester City in the League Cup before their surprise victory. They travel to Spurs on Saturday.
“Disaster [if Newcastle had lost]? No I don’t think that at all,” Pardew said. “It’s a big win, but we have beaten Chelsea and that’s it. Let’s not get carried away and say we are going to be in Europe and we’ll be great, or it would be a disaster if we’d lost three on the trot. I honestly don’t see that.
“I think [the owner] Mike Ashley understands the fine lines we are working in. He texted me this week and he knows we played well at Sunderland and we could have won there. The breaks in the game can make all the difference and we got the breaks today whereas at Sunderland we didn’t.”
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