Before Chelsea’s Champions League group stage opener game against FC Basel, Blues’ manager Jose Mourinho spoke to the media in the press room once again delivering a quote that will stand in memory of fans for many weeks to come. After the famous interview before his last official game for Chelsea before his departure in 2007, he talked about ‘class of eggs and the omelettes they give.’
‘No eggs, no omelette. And it depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket, you have eggs class one, class two, class three.
‘Some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem’
This quote from Jose was a parting shot towards Abramovic at the time as he was not afforded to sign the players he wanted to sign that summer to help the Blues mount a challenge on Premier League and Champions League glory which we finished as runners up in both that season. That match against Norwegian team Rosenberg in the group stages of the Champions league which ended 1-1 also proved to be his last game of his 1st reign at Chelsea since he left in mutual agreement days after.
Now, things are match different as the Portuguese is in his 2nd spell at the club after just returning this summer and he has a completely different group of players than he has before when he delivered that famous quote. He was asked ironically by group of journalists how he describes the class of eggs he has at Chelsea now to which the Special one smiled and delivered an emphatic quote yet again…
“Beautiful, young eggs. Eggs that need a Mum – in this case, a Dad – to take care of them, to keep them warm during the winter, to bring the blanket and work and improve them.
‘One day the moment will arrive when the weather changes, the sun rises, you break the eggs and the eggs are ready to go for life at the top level.
‘It’s important for the club, for everybody, it’s important for a team of kids, not just kids but a team that for example will tomorrow start the match with four players under 22, and if you think as we think in the club, in the evolution of the players and the team, it’s very important for them to play on the big stage, and the big stage is the Champions League.”
Even though players like Terry, Ashley Cole, Lampard and Petr Cech remain from the squad he had in his 1st reign, he described that most of the youngsters who are playing week in week out for the club aren’t yet the finished article. They will need time and experience of big matches like this in a tournament as prestigious as the Champions League to mature their talents to the highest level.
He said that he will start 4 players under the age of 22 and that shows the great future and promise that is put in this top talents. Players Jose was referring to are Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Oscar, De Bruyne, Azpilicueta, Van Ginkel, Bertrand…etc. This are players who are set to carry the torch after the likes Terry, Lamps, Cole and Cech by doing what this legends have done and continue to do for Chelsea every single match.
Speaking generally about our Champions League opener, Jose said,
“There is a big difference between the Champions League and Europa League, and we don’t think the Europa League is the best habitat for players who want to be big players. They have to play Champions League, so we have this group with Schalke that people don’t know probably how good they are, I know, with Basel, who at a first look maybe at a first look people think not so difficult, but I remember two years ago, Man United out and Basel through, last year Tottenham out and Basel through. Last year, Chelsea through, but it’s a difficult team.”
He also affirmed he wants to put a strong winning mentality and instill a self-belief in the young players he has in the squad taking step by step through every game. There remains a burning desire to be successful…
We want to do the process but at the same time, we want to win,’ said the Portuguese. ‘I am not the kind of person to accept peacefully the process by not winning. I don’t think it’s the best education or experience. We want to put on ourselves not massive pressure where you have to win; win or win, but we want to have the pressure of building but at the same time winning. We lost one match, it’s the worst start in 10 years, but it’s the kind of match you play 10 times and win nine and lose one.’
Jose Mourinho has a strong record in the top European club competition that world football has to offer as he has won the tournament TWO times, first with FC Porto in 2004 and then with Inter Milan in 2010. He managed to finish in the semi-final of the tournament THREE times in consecutive seasons at his time at the Bernabeu with Real Madrid. The pressure and mentality to succeed in the tournament will surely remain burning inside the Portuguese as he never won the competition with Chelsea during his first reign.
The Blues won the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history in 2011/12 season by beating Barcelona and Bayern in the semi-final and final of the tournament against the odds respectively. Despite last season’s disappointing early exit in the group stages, Chelsea have managed to mount a serious challenge in every season they have been part of the tournament since the last decade. Let’s know hope Chelsea will get to a flying start to our UCL campaign in order to instill a huge moral boost in the squad to succeed and do well this year.