Chelsea: His Team's Out Of Form But Jose's At Top Of His Game
This week it is fair to say that Jose Mourinho has been more interesting in the press room than his side have been on the field.
Chelsea fell at the final hurdle against West Brom (well in the 87th minute) and they were utterly lacklustre against Manchester City.
The loss in the FA Cup will have made Mourinho madder than most – it was not that the Citizens were that good, it was nothing like the dominating, assured, complete performance Chelsea displayed in the league a week before, City were in control, yes, but mostly because Chelsea allowed them to be.
Credit should go to Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany for their performances – it was clear to see that the league defeat hurt, and revenge was on the cards, but Chelsea did little to help their own cause.
The Blues did not turn up, and Mourinho knew it. The manager takes all competitions seriously, and his team line up made that abundantly clear. It did not matter however and Chelsea missed their inspirational skipper once again.
John Terry is worth so much more to Chelsea than as just a defender – he is their heart and soul. Now given his off the field conduct, some might say that soul is more black than blue, but as a player and as the skipper of Chelsea, he has never come up wanting.
Yes, he has made mistakes, but even Mourinho himself makes those. Terry leads from the front and has a never say die attitude. That was missing on Saturday, when the majority of the players on the field looked like they may as well have been having their tea in front of The Voice for all the good they did on the field.
Chelsea have talent – this is not meant to question that – their squad is missing a couple of players, but that can be fixed in the summer. They are not a small horse. They are contenders for the title and also the Champions League, and Mourinho knows it.
So do his rival managers, which is why they are now on all-out attack mode. Pellegrini is trying to keep his cool, but as even the master of calm Pep Guardiola knows, a couple of seasons down the line, you lose your rag. Guaranteed. Mourinho pushes managers to the brink and whilst in previous seasons that was done at Chelsea to their own managers by his ghost, the Special One is back and haunting all below him in person this time.
Brendan Rodgers, like Fergie last time around, will inevitably get into spats with Mourinho, but they are more tongue in cheek than out right venomous – unlike the one between Mourinho and Wenger, or Pellegrini, where we all know there is some serious, rather unsavoury history.
His team may be off the boil, but Jose is better than ever, and he has to be to get his side through the next couple of months.
The league is theirs to lose, and the Champions League may throw up some intrigue yet. If this is what FA Cup weekend does to Jose, imagine what a knockout European tie against old club Real Madrid or even old adversary Guardiola would throw up.