In the aftermath of their win over Norwich City this weekend, Jose Mourinho confessed that it’s Mission: Impossible as far as Chelsea’s defence of their Premier League title is concerned.
The Portuguese manager, who was back in the dugout for the Blues after serving out a one match stadium ban during Chelsea’s outing against Stoke City before the international break, still feels as though his side can reach the top four, but thinks that an unlikely title win is a job for Tom Cruise, not him.
Chelsea won their first league game since the 17th of October in a nervy win over the newly promoted Canaries thanks to a 64th minute Diego Costa goal. The victory moved them to 15th place in the league, five points clear of the relegation zone and allowed the Chelsea fans to sing a somewhat tongue-in-cheek rendition of ‘We are staying up’ towards the end of the game.
The Blues sit twelve points away from fourth placed Arsenal and the title favourites Manchester City, thirteen points off Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United and fourteen points shy of the unlikely league leaders Leicester City.
Their woeful league form led Mourinho to tell the press in his post-match press conference, “Fourth position for me is not an impossible mission. If you ask me about winning the the title, I would say impossible mission. Maybe Tom Cruise can do it but it’s complicated”.
History is not on Chelsea’s side. In the last five Premier League campaigns the fourth placed team have managed an average of 72 points. That means that the defending Premier League champions would need to register another 58 points before the end of the season, or 19 wins and 1 draw from their remaining 25 games.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has no intention of bowing to history, however, suggesting that there could yet be some movement at the top of the league table. He said, ‘You have to recover points from four candidates. But one of the teams that go up may also have a little bit of a collapse. The fourth position is a difficult position but a possible target”.
Diego Costa’s goal was his first in his last seven appearances and Mourinho confessed that the Spanish forward has been affected by his lack of form. He had managed eleven goals at the same stage as this in the last campaign, but he’s only notched up four so far this time out. Mourinho said, “You don’t score goals, you get heavier. Every game that you don’t score goals, you get 5kg more. You get heavy and the pressure is there. In the first half he missed two chances. The second one, in the last minute, is really a big one. So it was important for him. He’s working well, he’s a happy guy, he tries everything. He’s positive, so if I had to choose somebody to score the winning goal, I would go exactly with him”.
Mourinho will be hoping that the goal takes some of the weight of Costa’s shoulders. He’s also be hoping that Chelsea can use the victory as a springboard to go on a run as long and successful as Tom Cruise’s career has been, proving that it’s not just the diminutive Hollywood actor who can pull off impossible missions.