Like him or lump him, Jose Mourinho is entertaining and his reaction to Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid didn’t disappoint.
Mourinho openly admitted he wanted to rest his whole squad for the game against Liverpool this weekend but that the final decision was not up for him because of powers above him at Chelsea.
“I can’t decide by myself,” he said when asked about his team selection for Liverpool.
“That’s a decision I have to listen to the club. I’m just the manager and I have to listen to the club.
“The fact that the match is on Sunday, I think puts the problem not in my hands but in the hands of those who decide the game should be on Sunday and not Saturday or Friday.
“We represent English football and are the only team in European competitions. Spain has four and gave them all the conditions to try to have success, so I know what I would do. But I’m not the club. I have to speak to them. I would play with the players who are not going to play Wednesday.”
“I’m not the most important person in the club. Roman and the board, everybody is above me. I work for them and have to follow what my club decides. My priority is the Champions League.”
Very strange, and unusual, for Mourinho to bring Abramovich into it publicly. He's up to something. No idea what. But felt pre-planned.
— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) April 23, 2014
Mourinho’s comments are entertaining and potentially revealing as given that he departed Chelsea previously due to his relationship with Roman Abramovich, his comments indicate there may be tension in that relationship again already, or maybe it never disappeared. He’s certainly risking getting sacked by saying stuff like that to the press.
Given that the Manchester United job is now available, it’s not entirely surprising to hear Mourinho’s comments. After all, he pined for the job David Moyes got given in the summer.
Mourinho’s charm offensive included calling United the best team after that game against Real Madrid at Old Trafford – we were the better team but Mourinho admitting it was similar to Moyes saying Liverpool were favourites, you just don’t say it.
He also gave an extended interview with MUTV’s Paddy Crerand in the build-up to the game, something which travelling managers don’t particularly do with such enjoyment.
Reports from Red Issue back in the summer suggested Mourinho was ‘apoplectic’ that Moyes was given the job and not him – is the fire still burning? TalkSPORT’s Andy Goldstein believes so:
Remember the date remember the tweet remember where u heard it first. Jose will be the next Manchester United manager.
— Andy Goldstein MBE (@andygoldstein05) April 22, 2014
Mourinho would drop Chelsea in a heartbeat if he knew that the United job was his to take. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.