Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Jose Mourinho trusts Chelsea players not to overindulge this Christmas

Published 04/12/2015

Diego Costa was among the Chelsea substitutes against Tottenham
Diego Costa was among the Chelsea substitutes against Tottenham

Jose Mourinho will trust his Chelsea players not to overindulge in the festive season after Diego Costa joined his team-mates for a midweek Christmas night out ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

The striker, who was unhappy at being an unused substitute in last Sunday's draw at Tottenham, was pictured in London in the early hours of Thursday morning along with Ramires and Kenedy.

The trio were out as part of the squad's Christmas party, which had the full blessing of Mourinho after a rare space in the calendar was identified.

"If one individually goes for some adventure, I cannot control (that). But collectively, yes (that is it)," said Mourinho, when asked about Christmas celebrations.

"I think the paparazzi had a problem with the memory card. There were 25 players inside and he only got three."

All the players were present and all reported on time for training on Thursday, Mourinho says.

Asked if he put limits on alcohol consumption, Mourinho said: "I didn't get these tubes that the police have (breathalysers).

"When I saw the training session, I knew what they did the night before. And the training session was very good for everyone.

"It was their dinner, it was their night. It's their responsibility.

"I think their wives are in control. I don't think they can go home at 6am."

The pictures of Costa came in a week which began with him flinging his substitutes' bib in the direction of Mourinho when it became apparent he would not feature at White Hart Lane.

Speculation heightened that Chelsea are looking to recruit a new striker in January and that Costa was nearing the end of his time at Stamford Bridge, 18 months after his £32million move from Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho, who declined to say if the striker will start against the Cherries, said: "I don't know why. For me no question marks. Always played, was on the bench one match, which I think is more than natural. No problems, no problems at all."

Asked if Costa was dealt with as a "special case", Mourinho said: "A bit, but not much. Just little things. He can be more impulsive.

"But, in the end, rules are rules and he's the same (as the other players)."

Mourinho hopes the dinner, followed by a trip to a nightclub, has benefits for the dynamic of a squad 14th in the Premier League.

He said: "It's good for them. They told me the dinner was really good and the after dinner was even better. Everybody was happy."

There is the additional boost of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois being available again after a three-month absence with a knee injury.

Mourinho declined to say if Courtois would start in place of Asmir Begovic.

He said: "Clearly sooner or later he will be my number one. If he doesn't play against Bournemouth, he will play against Porto (next Wednesday)."

Captain John Terry, Ramires and Radamel Falcao remain out, but Nemanja Matic is fit to play with a protective mask after sustaining two broken bones in his face against Spurs.

Costa could return, looking to add to his poor return of three Premier League goals this season.

But Eden Hazard was deployed as a "false nine" at Spurs and praised by Mourinho in a written report.

"He even got written feedback," Mourinho said.

"(That was) unusual, yes. We analysed his performance in great detail.

"It was so impressive he needs that feedback, and he also needs to know his efforts were recognised by myself."

Like Costa, Mourinho has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, this time with a switch to Valencia at the end of Gary Neville's short-term deal.

"The (Valencia) owner (Peter Lim) knows me very well," Mourinho added.

"He knows I don't want to move and I want to stay at Chelsea."

Mourinho also had advice for Neville. He said: "He was a very good player, he was a very good pundit. And now he has to prove he's a very good manager, which is a completely different job.

"On the bench you cannot stop the video and you cannot touch the screen and make movements happen. It's a different story."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph