Following’s Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho has called for patience.
His side finished off the week with a win and moved top of the Premier League table, but last Saturday’s loss to Everton and the midweek defeat to Basel in the Champions League has seen plenty of criticism thrown Chelsea’s way.
“We’ve had a start that everyone keeps telling me is the worst start in a decade,” Mourinho said. “I look at the table, we are top of the table. Nobody is in front of us.”
In his second-spell in charge of the Blues, speaking post-game after the Fulham win, Mourinho understands why certain people aren’t happy but thinks he deserves extra time for the overhaul.
“We played better against Everton but lost,” Mourinho said. “When the results are not good, I don’t expect people to speak well about our work and our team. My career is all about this. Other people deserve time, and other people don’t win trophies for four, five years and still get time. But maybe because normally I win immediately in the first few seasons, I don’t get this kind of time to work on things.”
What the enigmatic Chelsea boss is talking about is something he alluded to early this week; trying to usher in a new philosophy at Stamford Bridge.
When asked post-game by Sky Sports, Mourinho made it clear that developing a new style will take time.
“Changing the philosophy, that take s a little bit of time,” Mourinho said. “At this moment we are not playing very, very, well. But the beauty of the Premier League, is that everybody loses points. The six top teams, contenders, all the teams already have a defeat. I agree that the results haven’t been very good, but we are there. We go, we work. We are top professionals. Everyone in the club is working hard. I have never worked as hard as I am working this season with this group of players.”
Mourinho then talked about molding his players into a high-pressing side and that he wants his team to play in a “higher block” rather than dominating possession in areas that doesn’t hurt the opposition.
Changing all of that will take time.
One other factor Mourinho spoke at length about was the reason for omitting Spanish attacker Juan Mata from his squad against Fulham, even though he is fit. The Portuguese boss believes that Mata and Oscar are too similar and can’t play together, while Mata flourished in Chelsea’s old style of “ultra-defensive” player, the one that Mourinho is trying to usher out. But the 50-year-old manager does think, that over time, Mata and Oscar can play in this Chelsea system together.
Seems like this philosophy change has only just begun at Chelsea. They’re top of the league for now, but Mourinho wants more.