Belfast Telegraph

Souness: I won't change opinion

Graeme Souness will not be changing his opinion of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, despite criticism from the Portuguese coach.

In the aftermath of Chelsea's Champions League exit to Paris St Germain, former Liverpool manager and current Sky Sports pundit Souness was highly critical of them, referring to some of Chelsea's actions as "pathetic".

He continued his complaints, with Mourinho responding in a press conference on Friday, calling the Scot a "frustrated man".

Using his hands to gesture, Mourinho raised his left hand above his head to illustrate Souness' high level as a player and whacked his left on a low desk to signify his own career.

When it came to management, the Portuguese's right hand was raised high and his left, for Souness' management career, wavered just above the desk.

Mourinho said: ''The difference between me and Souness is this - Souness as a player, up there. Jose Mourinho as a player, down here. Jose Mourinho as a manager, up here. Souness as a manager, down there.

''With another difference: I was not a frustrated man because I was not a top player. He is clearly a frustrated man.''

But writing in the Sunday Times, Souness was sticking to his guns.

"He had his say about me at his press conference on Friday and he is entitled to his opinion, but it won't change mine," he said.

"When he reflects on what went wrong against PSG and addresses it , I hope - yet doubt - that will include the obsession with gamesmanship.

"It seemed more important to Chelsea than getting on the ball and taking on PSG in a game of football, which they were more than capable of winning. They are a far better team than they showed. Getting the opposition booked by their excessive reaction to fouls became their priority. I was angered and saddened by that approach."

Meanwhile, Blues midfielder Nemanja Matic has spoken about his sending off for pushing Burnley's Ashley Barnes.

Matic served a two-match ban - which included the Capital One Cup Final - for his reaction to a challenge from the Burnley striker which Mourinho referred to a "criminal".

Speaking to a number of national newspapers, Matic said: "Of course my reaction was not good but this reaction was because I thought that I break a leg. I am a happy man because I can walk."


From Belfast Telegraph