Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side are fighting for the Premier League title and the UEFA Champions League crown down the stretch, a feat which takes plenty of nous to balance the squad properly and fight off increasing levels of fatigue.
Other PL teams would love to have that problem, but they don’t have to manage title expectations on multiple fronts.
That is exactly why Mourinho believes Liverpool are perfectly poised to challenge for the Premier League crown. When asked if he was surprised at how well Brendan Rodgers’ men are doing, Mourinho said the following.
“No, when you have six days a week to prepare for a match, six days a week to train, have sessions twice a day to improve. Nobody else has that at the same time, their players have no fatigue,” Mourinho said. “You see freshness, you see players of a certain age not needing a rest. This season for them is a perfect season for what they are doing.”
Mourinho is humble enough to praise others, but we often attribute that to mind games. However, this point he makes is just common sense, as he went on to state how UCL commitments have hampered his sides recovery and preparation period all season. Managing that load is why he is paid the big bucks, but it certainly isn’t easy.
To date, Liverpool have played just 36 games in the league and cup, and will play just 43 times in the 2013-14 season. Compare that with Chelsea, who have already played 46 games and could potentially play 58 matches in total this season, if they reach the Champions League final. That extra 15 games makes a huge difference to a player, and the fact that Liverpool’s elder statesmen, such as Steven Gerrard, are able to play near their maximum, week in, week out, is a huge advantage to the Reds.
Chelsea face Liverpool at Anfield next month, and could have a Champions League semifinal match wedged around that potential title decider. With these comments, it seems as though Mourinho is already lining up his excuses one month in advance.
That is special from the ‘Special One.’ And that is why we love him.