Jose Mourinho has been forced to deny there are any problems between him and his playing staff after he failed to start John Terry in the defending Premier League champion’s home match against their London rivals Arsenal at the weekend.
Chelsea were 17th in the league going into the match at Stamford Bridge having only managed one victory in their first five league games. A 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champion’s League during the week gave them some confidence before the match against Arsenal, but rumours surfaced that John Terry and Diego Costa had had a falling out in training.
Responding to the rumours of a bust up Mourinho said, “’Diego Costa fought with John Terry and before they start the fight they brought a translator for them to understand each other, because Diego cannot speak English and John cannot speak Spanish’. You [the media] always go in this direction, which is funny. The other direction you don’t go is the direction which is real”.
When fit John Terry has been a mainstay of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea teams since the Portuguese manager arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004. Yet questions were asked of the pair’s relationship when Terry was substituted at half time in the Blues’ 3-0 defeat away to Manchester City earlier in the season. Terry was also an unused substitute during Chelsea’s midweek Champion’s League match, though many expected him to return to the starting line up against the Gunners.
Instead the self proclaimed Special One opted to go for a centre back pairing of Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma – a decision he will have felt was justified when Zouma made an excellent tackle on Theo Walcott when the speedy winger was close to breaking through the Chelsea defence late in the first half. Regarding his decision Mourinho said, “Terry is player of my total confidence. If he is on the bench or I take him off doesn’t change anything”.
Mourinho was scathing of the press’ attempts to find a story where none exists, saying, “Normally when bad results happen the first thing that comes into your laptops, iPads and pens is to find a dramatic story: ‘Somebody punch somebody in the dressing room’, ‘The manager doesn’t want to speak with this guy’. Problems between me and my players I can promise you – zero”.
The 2-0 win over Arsenal means that Chelsea have now got seven points on the board and have climbed to 15th in the table, yet they sit eight points shy of league leaders Manchester City despite the fact that Manuel Pellegrini’s men also lost at the weekend.