• Premier League

Mourinho takes swipe at Wenger

ESPN staff
August 16, 2014
The ESPN FC team discuss Chelsea's title chances

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has dismissed suggestions that he needs to win a trophy in his second season as manager - taking aim at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as he defended his own record in recent years.

Mourinho labelled Wenger a "specialist in failure" last February, before the Frenchman ended a nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup.

Chelsea and Mourinho finished last season without any silverware, and speaking ahead of Monday's game with Burnley, he was asked whether he needed to avoid a repeat of that scenario in his second season back at Stamford Bridge.

"Why?" he said. "Some [managers] have 10 years to win something, I have only two?"

"I like to work, I like to build. I don't like easy jobs. I don't like to get clubs worked by other managers before me. I don't like to arrive on time to collect the fruits off their trees."

Mourinho has won league titles at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid over the past nine seasons - with his last success coming as Madrid boss in 2012 when they beat Pep Guardiola's Barcelona to top spot in Spain.

"I came to Chelsea at a moment when one team was over and another needed to be born," Mourinho said. "At the same time I came to the only league where four, five, six teams can compete for the title. So I'm not good in choosing my jobs - or I'm good because I choose jobs I really love."

Meanwhile, Mourinho says World Cup fatigue will stop Chelsea from fielding their strongest line-up for the first three matches of the new season.

He will not rush his six World Cup stars, who have had precious little club preparation, back into Premier League action.

Germany's Andre Schuerrle, Brazil trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires and Belgian pair Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have missed most of Chelsea's pre-season after their World Cup exploits.

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Jose Mourinho didn't win a trophy last season © Getty Images
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Mourinho admitted being forced to wait patiently while a host of senior stars shake off their summer exertions is simply a fact of football life.

"This is modern football," Mourinho said ahead of Monday night's trip to Burnley. "It's going in this tendency - more matches, more competitions, less time to work, even not enough time to have a real holiday for bodies and brains that top football players need. There's not enough time.

"In our case we had a group that had good holiday and a good pre-season, then we had another group because Spain was out in the group phase, and that allowed us to get five players before we expected.

"So that was good and created a medium group - but the final group is very late."

Mourinho went on to say that many of his side's players were not individually ready, but that the team would still be ready against Burnley.

The Portuguese manager admitted he will have his work cut out to appease rival goalkeepers Courtois and Petr Cech, but vowed to foster competition between the duo.

The Stamford Bridge boss said he would underline his unstinting faith in both stoppers by handing both stars opportunities in high-stakes matches.

"I cannot kill competition, I cannot close the door for someone to get into the team," he said. "And I cannot give a player, even a goalkeeper, guarantees that he is my first choice forever, if he doesn't perform.

"Obviously you cannot change a goalkeeper if he makes a mistake, but you can change a goalkeeper if he makes five mistakes. And so what is my first choice today cannot be my first choice tomorrow, it depends on performance. But if the goalkeeper gives stability to the team then I don't see a reason to change."

World Cup winner Andre Schuerrle will be one of those rested © Getty Images
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