Jose Mourinho has denied that there is anything even approaching a revolt from the players in his Chelsea team, suggesting that it’s the journalists who are claiming it’s true that are being dishonest, not his players.
The London club’s 3-1 loss at home to Liverpool over the weekend means that the defending Premier League champions have now lost six of their first eleven league matches. The result has left them 15th in the top flight table, just four points off the relegation zone.
Mourinho, speaking in his pre-match press conference before his side play against Dynamo Kiev in the Champion’s League, said, “It’s a very sad accusation because you are accusing players, or one player, of dishonesty. It is a question for the players. If I accuse you to be a dishonest journalist, you would be very upset and probably would take legal action”.
The Blues only lost three games in the league last season, yet they are already 14 points behind the current league leaders Manchester City. The chance of them retaining their title is virtually zero and they also face a serious challenge to even make it into the top four.
That has led some members of the press to speculate on whether or not the Chelsea players are still playing for their manager, with the BBC’s Gary Richardson being told by a source that one player said recently, “I’d rather lose than win for him [Mourinho]”. It is a sensational quote if true, and many people are suggesting that the manager’s relationship with Eden Hazard is at breaking point.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was asked whether he thought he had taken ‘too many bullets’ for his players and he replied, “For my players I do everything, I am not going to change”. The implication in his answer being that he is incensed that his players have been accused of not playing for him as he would do anything for them.
It is generally felt that the mask has been slipping on Mourinho in recent weeks, with ex-pros, such as Jamie Carragher and Ruud Gullit, suggesting that the Portuguese boss is ‘throwing his toys out of the pram’. Asked if he had lost his dignity he replied, “This moment the way I am going to show my dignity is not to answer you”.
In recent weeks Jose Mourinho has been determined to create a siege mentality, suggesting that Chelsea have been the victims of a conspiracy from the Football Association. His feelings weren’t assuaged after Liverpool scored their equaliser after the two minutes of added time had expired at the end of the first half, as well as when Lucas Leiva was lucky to avoid a second yellow card for a tackle on Ramires during the second half.
Chelsea were fortunate themselves, however, when John Terry was not punished for what appeared to be a deliberate handball. Diego Costa also avoided the referee’s notebook after committing a stamp on Martin Skrtel’s chest when the two players came together in a tackle. Mourinho ignored those incidents, though, and insinuated that the club’s recent form is, in part, down to the lack of luck they’re having with officials. He said, “I know why [we’re struggling]. I would be here for a long time to explain, it is a combination of factors. Some of them I don’t want to touch. But, yes, I know. Everything is football-related”.
Chelsea play host to Dynamo Kiev in the Champion’s League on Wednesday night before travelling to The Britannia Stadium to face Stoke – the team that knocked them out of the League Cup during the week – on Saturday.