Under fire Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hit out at former players working as pundits in the media and suggested that his current crop of players made them look ‘stupid’ after the Blues’ loss in their penalty shoot-out against Stoke in the League Cup.
Some pundits have suggested that the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has lost the dressing room, with some players no longer playing for the manage. Mourinho hit back at that notion and said, “What the players did tonight is face the people that write and say, ‘you are stupid. You think the players did not give everything to win the game? That is really sad”.
Chelsea played much better against the Potters than they have in recent games, though they couldn’t make their numerical advantage count when Bardsley was sent off for Stoke towards the end of normal time. The Blues went a goal behind when Jonathan Walters gave the home side the lead after 52 minutes and it seemed that the holders were destined for an early exit from the competition. Logic Remy scored an equaliser on the stroke of 90 minutes, however, sending the game into extra time.
Chelsea’s 11 men couldn’t find a way through the resolute defence of Stoke’s 10 men and the game went to a penalty shoot-out. Nine of the penalties were flawless before Eden Hazard saw his spot kick saved brilliantly by Jack Butland in the Stoke goal. It meant that Chelsea lost the game 5-4 on penalties despite having 59% possession and managing 24 shots on goal with nine of them on target.
Mourinho spoke to the media for the first time since Friday as he has refused to do so after his side’s 2-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday and he also declined the opportunity before the League Cup game on Saturday. He used the opportunity to say, “For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me, I can say, you don’t have results because the players are against me. What some people write and say is really bad for the players. Most of the people that do that used to be players. I think they think my players are like them when they were players. Maybe they were able to do that. My players tried everything”.
The result wasn’t the only bad thing to come out of the night for Mourinho either. He was also disappointed to see Diego Costa limp off the pitch after just 33 minutes with an injury. The Spanish international went to hospital with a suspected rib injury, meaning he might be unavailable for the defending Premier League champion’s game at the weekend. Mourinho said, “He is in hospital – but I don’t know what the situation is. Is he a doubt to face Liverpool? I don’t know. How did the injury happen? I think he punched himself”.
Having stormed to the Premier League title virtually unopposed last time out Chelsea have stumbled repeatedly during this campaign. Last night signalled their eighth loss in sixteen matches so far this season, whilst in the league they are in 15th place – 11 points behind leaders Manchester City.
Many of the national newspapers have claimed that Mourinho will be under huge pressure if Chelsea lose to Liverpool at the weekend, with the Daily Mirror reporting that some senior players are already expecting his departure in the near future. The 52 year old Portuguese boss said, “A few months ago I won a few matches and I was champion. People were saying there are things more important than results. Now, people say results are the most important thing. It’s a contradiction”.