Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho: Chelsea deserve to be celebrated

By Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho insisted Chelsea did everything required of champions as he hit out at criticism of the Premier League winners' approach.

A 1-0 win over Crystal Palace gave the Blues an unassailable lead at the summit and a fourth Premier League title in 11 seasons.

It was Mourinho's third - drawing him level with Bill Shankly, Arsene Wenger and Stan Cullis - and the first of his second spell in charge.

Chelsea, by the Portuguese's own admission, became "more strategic, less artistic" as the title neared, with detractors labelling the Blues "boring".

Mourinho, who values substance over style, dismissed those who had the temerity to criticise his side.

"We do everything that the team needs," Mourinho said.

"That's why we deserve so much to be champions. And I think everybody knows that.

"And the ones who have a big face to say we don't deserve it are the ones that in my country we say, 'the dogs bark and the caravan goes by'.

"(It's) easy to be a pundit, because as a pundit you win every game. Fantastic job.

"Maybe in 10 years' time it's my job. And then I win every game.

"Now as a manager I lose sometimes and it's a much more difficult job.

"What the players are feeling now is fantastic. They deserve it."

Mourinho returned for a second spell as Chelsea boss in June 2013 and now in his second season has won the Capital One Cup and the Premier League, taking his personal trophy tally to 22.

"When you go back to a place where you had success before you risk a little bit of your prestige, your history. I risked it," Mourinho added.

"The amazing team that was Chelsea's team for a decade is not here any more. And a new team has won the league again.

"Now I can say I won titles for Chelsea with two different generations, separated by almost a decade."

Mourinho made a veiled criticism of rival Pep Guardiola, whose Bayern Munich are the dominant team in Germany, and spoke of enjoying the competitive nature of English football.

Mourinho added: "Maybe in the future I'll have to be smarter and choose another country, another club, where everybody's champions. Even the kit man coaching is champion in some countries.

"I still enjoy these difficulties. I still enjoy being tired after a very difficult match. So I think I am in the right place."

Mourinho is two years into a four-year contract of his second spell and received the congratulations of owner Roman Abramovich afterwards.

"I'll stay here if Mr Abramovich wants me to stay. The day he tells me to go, I'll go," the Blues boss added.

"I just saw him. We had a hug and that means more than words. He's a man who has won every title with Chelsea. Some players won some, some others. Some managers won some, some won others. Mr Abramovich is the only one who won every title."

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