• Premier League

Cech and Courtois a 'great problem' for Chelsea

ESPN staff
August 15, 2014
Jose Mourinho evaded any questions about whether he would consider offers for either goalkeeper © Getty Images

Jose Mourinho says that Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois do not yet know who will start against Burnley - admitting that he has a "great problem" because the pair are "two of the three best goalkeepers in the world".

Although there have been some external hints that it will be Courtois who starts, Mourinho stated they will only know once the squad is told the starting XI.

"I don't tell you because they don't know. The team doesn't know. They will know at the same time, all of them," Mourinho said.

Chelsea are 'title contenders'

  • Jose Mourinho has declared Chelsea as "title contenders" for the Premier League, although he stopped short of saying they are favourites.
  • Mourinho downplayed his side's chances last year, but says that the squad's series of transfers has left them feeling "very happy".
  • "Last season we did not feel as a title contender but we finished very close to the title," Mourinho said.
  • "We were not feeling one of the top favourites for the Champions League and we played in the semi-final. We did well. This season we bought some key players after our analysis of last season and our squad. We believe. More than believe we are already feeling that these new players brought the squad and the team into another dimension.
  • "I imagine the words you want to hear from me and the words I can say because I can feel and I will think anybody can criticise me because of that, yes we are title contenders.
  • "If you expect me to say we're going to win the Premier League I can't say that. I have to respect this competition. I have to respect the opponents and the efforts of the other clubs to improve their top teams. To tell what we feel and I discussed that with the players this morning we all feel we're title contenders."

"My opinion with all the respect to fantastic goalkeepers around the world, with all my respect, I think Chelsea has two of the three best goalkeepers in the world. This is something unique. Is it a problem for me? A great problem.

"They are both fantastic goalkeepers. Even [Mark] Schwarzer. [He is] in a different age and level at the moment but even Schwarzer is a very good goalkeeper. To have Courtois and Petr is a good problem. It's a problem every manager in every club would like to have.

"I think it's not easy [for one of them not to play]. For me it's not just easy because I don't think any manager is happy to see one player not in a very happy and comfortable position. Only in that perspective it's not easy for me, I like to see happy people. I'm not happy to see when other people are not happy. I can understand for top goalkeepers that could play in every club in the world, in here, one of them is going to be on the bench. It's a difficult situation.

"For Chelsea it's a great situation. For me as a manger thinking in a pragmatic way to have the best goalkeeper on the field is a very safe and comfortable situation for us."

Mourinho stressed that he would have to pay particular attention to the goalkeeper who does not start in order to keep him motivated.

"In this moment they are working well and hard and we are so happy to have them both," he said.

"I prefer to analyse this in that perspective. During the season if one is definitely my first choice I have to support and stimulate the other one. I can't have one of these incredible goalkeepers on the bench three or four months waiting for a Capital One Cup game. I have to stimulate the competition and I have to praise some top goalkeeper which is not my first choice.

"The best way for me to work is to think pragmatically, in a cold way, forget a little bit and try to hide the emotions around these situations and decide what I think is the best for the team."

Mourinho did, however, evade any questions about whether he would consider offers for either goalkeeper.

"In this moment I don't want to think about it," he said. "There is no offer. I'm working with them and I told them as a group today everyone of my players in the squad I'm happy to have them. I'm not waiting for anything. Not good to analyse something that isn't on the table. Every manager in the world would like to the Courtois and Cech… and Schwarzer."

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