Jose Mourinho used his post-match interview in the wake of his team’s loss to Leicester City at The King Power Stadium to launch an astonishing attack on his Chelsea players.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ pointed the blame at virtually everyone except himself after the game, even going so far as to say that he got his team playing far better than their talent suggests they should have been, saying, “One possibility is that I did an amazing job last season and brought the players to a level that is not their level and now they can’t maintain it”.
The loss left the defending Premier League champions just two points off the relegation zone after sixteen games. Chelsea have only scored 18 goals this season and they’ve only managed one in their last eight hours and eleven minutes of league football.
Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez condemned Chelsea to their ninth league loss of the campaign and left them 16th in the Premier League. After the game Mourinho said, “One of my best qualities is to read the game for my players and I feel like my work was betrayed”.
With the Blues having lost just three games last term, something has clearly gone wrong this time around and Mourinho is getting increasingly frustrated. He said that he has ‘no complaints’ with his players’ work in training but that it was ‘frustrating’ to observe ‘what they do in matches’.
Although Chelsea could drop into the bottom three if they lose to Sunderland at the weekend, Jose Mourinho does not believe that his team are in a relegation battle. He said, “I accept we are in the relegation zone, but I don’t accept we are in a relegation battle. You look at the table and we are there, but you think you are in a relegation battle if you think you are there for three or four months. I don’t think that”.
He went on to say that he genuinely thinks his club could yet battle for a place in the top six, but that right now he lacks pride in the work that his players are producing on the pitch. He said, “We can’t finish top four, but we can still finish top six because so many teams are dropping points. At the moment, we are in a zone where I feel ashamed”.
Despite the fact that he is enduring his worst campaign as a manager in any division in any country, the Portuguese manager has no intention to quit Stamford Bridge. He said, “The only thing I can say is that I want to be the manager. I have no doubts and I think you know me well enough to know that I am not afraid of a big challenge and in this moment it is a really big challenge. I want to stay and I hope Mr Roman Abramovich and the board want me to stay because I want to stay”.
The Chelsea manager was far from impressed by the attitude of Eden Hazard in the match. The PFA Player of the Year from last season was involved in an incident at the start of the season that led to Jose Mourinho publicly criticising his medical staff. In turn that led to the resignation of the club doctor, Eva Carneiro, who is now suing the club for unfair dismissal.
It seems appropriate, then, that Hazard was involved in another medical incident last night. He was involved in a challenge with Jamie Vardy after thirty minutes of the match and informed the medical staff that he wasn’t fit enough to carry on. Mourinho wasn’t impressed and delivered a somewhat sarcastic dress down for the winger, saying, “He made the decision to come off, so it must be a serious injury. His first reaction was ‘I can’t continue’, his second reaction was ‘I want to try’, but after his first step back on the pitch he said he couldn’t. He’s injured clearly”.
Having criticised his players and suggesting they’re no longer as good as he is the Portuguese manager then turned on the Leicester City ball boys. He felt that they wasted time in the match and said, “They [Leicester] fought with everything, they defended with everything, and the ball boys were amazing too. I say the point about the ball boys because it’s a disgrace for the Premier League, but I want to make it clear I don’t want that story to be in front of a result Leicester deserved”. The main story after the match is not the ball boys but Jose Mourinho and his future at Chelsea Football Club.