The Blues’ manager Jose Mourinho has made his press-conference on Friday ahead of Monday night’s encounter vs Manchester City at the Etihad stadium. This match is the most anticipated and possibly the hardest test for Chelsea since Mourinho’s return to the West London club. It is a match that is set to shape up the league table as to who is going to win and who has the real chance of fighting it out till the end of May to claim the big trophy.
But, with all the pressure surrounding the Stamford bridge club, facing the team with a 100% winning record in their home ground coming off a disappointing draw vs a team that played ’19th century’ football, Jose Mourinho is calm in a way he is preparing his team for this match.
First questions were regarding the transfer window that just ended on Friday midnight. The deal for the highly rated youngster Kurt Zouma has been finalized on deadline day and was made official with the French Center back spending the rest of the season on-loan in France.
‘He is another young player that fits the profile of some Chelsea signings in the past couple of years,’ said Mourinho.
‘We like his profile and we think it is one that is very much adapted to the Premier League. If we didn’t do it now we probably wouldn’t have been able to do it in the summer because other clubs were also very interested in him.
‘He’s already played a couple of seasons in the French league with Saint Etienne and many matches at different age groups with his national team. We know he is a player with good potential and with lots of space to improve. He’s physically ready but it’s another thing to be tactically ready.
‘He’ll join us in pre-season and we’ll see if he stays or goes out on loan again. He is a young player in a position where we need to think about the future, so job done, well done Chelsea.’
Another signing he reflected on was of Mohamed Salah’s with the Egyptian sealing his arrival by being presented to the press at Stamford Bridge with his blue shirt. Mourinho was quick to praise the winger by joking that he wouldn’t have to score against Chelsea anymore.
‘It is good because now he doesn’t score against Chelsea! We tried to go for a young, left-footed, fast player who is fast in the space. He is the kind of player that looks for space and tries to get behind people.’
And finally, the topic was shifted to the big match against Manchester City set to played at the Etihad on Monday evening. The match is so much anticipated and the odds are against Mourinho’s men even though we have beaten them already this season. But, many including we Chelsea fans should agree they have been far more dominant than any team in the league since that magical victory with a late winner from Fernando Torres.
But, unfortunately Mourinho reported the game would come too soon for Fernando Torres who is out with knee injury for quite few weeks yet. We travel to Manchester to face a City side full of goals, and yet to drop points at home this season.
‘I think they have everything. The players are obviously very good and their manager is also doing a good job. On top of that, and this is just pure coincidence, the reality is they have had many crucial decisions in their favor. They were lucky against Liverpool, against Newcastle and against Tottenham. But I repeat this is just pure coincidence.
‘City score goals, and I don’t think for them it is important if somebody is injured. Normally when your approach is very defensive if you concede a goal you are in trouble or you have to make changes during the game and you never know how the player will adapt to it.
‘We are not going to change our philosophy. We are going in a certain direction, and just because we are playing a certain opponent doesn’t mean we are going to change that. We are going to try to win.’
Mourinho is confidence his team will get the job done and it won’t be surprising to see Chelsea play a strong defensive tactic and fast paced counter attack as he used against Arsenal at Emirates in December. But, there is a feeling that calls for both teams to try to win rather than take the safe bet and defend trying to earn a draw.
It is important to note Manchester City are 35 goals shy of beating our record tally of 103 goals scored in the league under Carlo Ancelotti in 2009/10. This team has just 15 games yet to be played which makes it seem improbable in some way but you wouldn’t want to bet on it with the form Manchester City are currently in.
Let’s wait and see what happens on Monday but Mourinho is surely confidence and calm about the big showdown as he feels our opponents are the title favorites as he claimed over many times since the start of the season. Whether those comments were mind games or not will be revealed once we have faced them two times in February as the FA Cup 5th round play off will be set in the same ground between the same two teams as in Monday.
Thanks for reading and good luck for Jose Mourinho’s team ahead of this epic showdown. Follow on twitter (@FahmiCFC) and KTBFFH!