Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Mourinho eyes special title

Jose Mourinho is happy again at Chelsea after a tumultuous end to his spell in charge of Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho believes that if Chelsea win the Barclays Premier League this season it will rank among his leading achievements.

Mourinho is happy again at Chelsea after a tumultuous end to his spell in charge of Real Madrid, which in 2012 included a Primera Division title.

Success has followed wherever two-time Champions League-winning boss Mourinho has been - at Porto, in his first spell at Chelsea and at Inter Milan - but a third Premier League title, eight years after the last, would be treasured.

Speaking on Chelsea's arrival in Jakarta for the third and final match of the Asia tour, Mourinho said: "I always say that the best trophy you have is the last (most recent) one. (But) if we win something important with this group, it will be the best for many reasons."

One of those reasons is the competition in the top-flight, with Mourinho believing defending champions Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are all rivals for the title.

City have spent most lavishly this summer, recruiting Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic, to bolster their ranks after relinquishing the Premier League title to United last term.

"I think they've bought very, very well," Mourinho said. "They have the money to buy, but they have also the knowledge; they have people in the club who know a lot about football.

"They are players at the top of their careers, experienced but still young.

"If you see their age, their maturity, they are in the perfect moment of their career to go to England - no need for adaptation, no need of work to learn the project."

United and Arsenal are still bidding to add to their squad, but Chelsea's is almost complete.

Chelsea have signed Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer this summer, with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney the sole remaining transfer target.

The Blues squad has an experienced core - John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech, to name four - but also many developing players full of potential.

Mourinho insists he has recognised and utilised talent in young players before and applies the philosophy that if you are good enough, you are old enough.

"Any time I had in my hands young players with conditions to become top players and play for the first team, I did it," Mourinho said.

He pointed to the examples of Carlos Alberto at Porto, Davide Santon at Inter Milan - now at Newcastle after being tipped, prior to injury, to be the next Paolo Maldini - and Raphael Varane at Real Madrid, as well as John Obi Mikel at Chelsea.

"John Mikel arrived and (Claude) Makelele was on the bench," Mourinho said.

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