Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho facing long, hot summer

Jose Mourinho knows Chelsea fans will go into next season expecting the Blues to win a major trophy

Chelsea's Brazilian David Luiz does not have complete command of the English language, but it did not take him long to identify the word he needed on Wednesday night to describe what it means for his club not to win a trophy this season.

"We are a big club and we want to win trophies, but the most important thing is the personalities. We need to fight in many situations," said Luiz.

"This is sport, this is football. Everyone speaks about results.

"You can say it is a poor season if you don't have trophies in a season at a big club, that is true, but in the end you need to remember everyone here is human.

"Everyone gave their best all season, everyone can make mistakes – that is normal, but you cannot hide yourself from any situations."

The situation that faces Chelsea for the first time since the 2010-11 season, Luiz's first at the club, is going without a trophy unless they manage to wrest the league title away from Manchester City and Liverpool.

It is an unlikely scenario, but not implausible, although this time Chelsea need others to drop points too.

A summer without a trophy at Stamford Bridge always feels dangerous for the manager, and in his three years there Luiz has seen Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo leave, not to mention Rafa Benitez having won four major trophies between them.

For Jose Mourinho, there will be more patience from the ever-so-slightly demanding Roman Abramovich.

In defeat to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, Chelsea performed like a side who had played three big games in nine days and had very little left to give.

Although Mourinho's strange insistence that the game was over after Atletico's second goal rang a little hollow, given there were 32 minutes remaining to score two goals at home.

Yet, if this is to be a season in which Mourinho does not win a trophy then at least his predictions at the start of the season – of a young team that needed to be coached and which would be ready to challenge in the following campaign – will be proven true.

Further Reading

Chelsea simply have no case for the defence

Chelsea 'aren't set-up to play football', admits Eden Hazard

Chelsea 1 - 3 Atlético Madrid: José Mourinho's men crash out of the Champions League after semi-final defeat at Stamford Bridge 

He has said all along that he expects to be judged on his second season at the club when the squad will be build more to his requirements than the one he inherited.

It is instructive that Chelsea are looking at the Cardiff City midfielder Mats Daehli, signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from his former club Molde in January, as a potential signing.

The Norwegian teenager is the kind of hard-working midfielder Mourinho rates highly and the club believe his time spent previously at the Manchester United academy would mean he qualifies as home-grown.

The home-grown issue is a key one for Chelsea as they assess the profile of their squad this summer with the futures of Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole in the balance.

While one, some, or all could be retained, Chelsea need to up their home-grown quotient having been forced to name only 23 players rather than 25 in their Premier League squad, because of a shortfall in home-grown players.

Otherwise, it is obvious which direction Mourinho is going. Willian, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marco Van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle, Tomas Kalas, Mohamed Salah, Thibaut Courtois and Kurt Zouma, the signing from St Etienne, are a new core of hardworking Mourinho-istas, who will execute their coach's instructions to the letter.

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Chelsea coach Rui Faria has been given a six-match stadium ban following his altercation with match officials in last month's Premier League defeat to Sunderland.

Faria had to be restrained by Jose Mourinho on the touchline after reacting furiously when referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty to the Black Cats.

Faria, who has also been fined £30,000, had admitted two charges of misconduct.

Source: Independent

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