Terry stays captain but may not play, says returning boss
RETURNING Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he expects to be granted time to emulate the success of his first Stamford Bridge reign should he prove unable to engineer immediate glory.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich has gained a reputation for dispensing with coaches who fail to deliver either the Premier League or Champions League title inside their first season.
But Mourinho, facing the media yesterday for the first time since his appointment last week on a four-year contract, emphasised a mutual and new-found desire for stability between him and the west London club.
“I don’t need anybody to push me to have that ambition. I have enough motivation myself, enough self esteem, enough desire to do it, so I don’t need anybody to push me for that,” he said.
“But I think if we don’t do it but we show during the season an evolution, show that we are going in the right direction, I think we are champions the second season. I don’t think it’s a drama.”
Pressed on whether he would expect to remain in charge, he said: “Yes, of course.”
Mourinho revealed controversial skipper John Terry would remain “club captain”, but cast doubt on whether the injury-plagued centre-back would enjoy the key role he did in the Portuguese’s previous tenure.
“I think John is the club captain. I am more than happy he is the club captain. The fans are more than happy he is the club captain. So I think he has to be the club captain,” he added.
“Has he the armband? Only if he plays. If he’s not in the starting XI he doesn’t have the armband. But he’s the captain.
“I haven’t spent one second thinking about this, but I think he has to be, and he deserves to be, and I am happy for him to be.”
Mourinho, who has won the treble with Inter Milan and the league title with Real Madrid since leaving Chelsea in 2007, cited competitiveness and an intense schedule as the facets of English football he most missed.
When it was pointed out that those traits were often regarded as weaknesses of the game in what he called “its mother country”, he quipped: “I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying I love it. And sometimes you love things that are not right. Do I prefer to have a fantastic Christmas holiday like I had in Spain? Going one week to New York or Brazil? That’s fantastic. I prefer to play. I was envious at home watching the Premier League when I was at home at Christmas. Total envy.”
Mourinho rejected the chance to agree or disagree with Abramovich’s alleged preference for former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, with whom he jousted in Spain.
“I don’t ask him, I don’t know and I don’t care – really,” he said. “Roman didn’t ask me if I had contacts with this club, that club or the other club. So I don’t care.”
He added that he did not know why he had been overlooked for the Manchester United job, following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, but backed the appointment of Everton’s David Moyes.
“I think they have made good decisions,” he said. “David proved himself at Everton. OK, no trophies, but it is not easy to get a trophy when you manage Everton, and he was not far from doing that.”
Mourinho also insisted that he did not hanker after the hot-seat at United or their neighbours Manchester City, who overlooked the more decorated former Porto boss in favour of Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini.
“I am where I want to be,” he said. “If you give me now and you tell me you have in this table every job in the football world, choose one, I would choose my job. I have the job I want to have.”
THE HAPPY ONE: JOSE OPENS UP ON...
Three matches in a row; the Christmas period; the Easter period; pushing people to the limit. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying I love it. And sometimes you love things that aren’t right.
LOVE FOR ENGLISH GAME
Am I still the Special One? I am the Happy One. I have the same nature, heart and emotions for my football and my job. But I am a different person and at this moment I’d describe myself as a happy person.
The main issue was a football decision – nothing else. The same decision Sir Alex Ferguson made by leaving Wayne Rooney on the bench... It is justice. There is no mystery.
DROPPING IKER CASILLAS
I think it’s different. In terms of quality, I don’t think it’s better, to be fair. But in terms of competitiveness, it’s harder, Who is going to be first and who is going to be sixth – I don’t know.
PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS
I don’t ask him, I don’t know and I don’t care – really. Roman didn’t ask me if I had contacts with this club, that club or the other club. He never asked me about it. So I don’t care.
CHELSEA WANTING PEP
Europa League winners can be analysed in two ways. One way is: you won it. The other way is: why you won it. And why you won it is because you didn’t go through the Champions League group phase.
LAST YEAR’S TROPHY