Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in the giving mood on Tuesday, handing John Terry, Eden Hazard and Willian all “holidays” ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match with Sporting Lisbon.
Chelsea are already through as winners of Group G of the Champions League making Wednesday’s match a mere formality for the Blues. His side’s impressive form will see them on to the Round of 16 where fellow Premier League side Arsenal has already progressed while Liverpool have crashed out.
Mourinho’s ‘holiday’ to his players was to help them recuperate ahead of what will be a busy holiday period where Chelsea play six matches in the next 23 days.
“Terry, Willian and Hazard are on holidays,” Mourinho said. “I would like to give the whole squad the time off but these three play all the time and I have good solutions for these positions. We have so many matches to play in December and we are one of the few teams in the Premier League that also plays the Capital One Cup in this moment.”
Mourinho went on to mention that Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa already enjoyed their rests by virtue accumulating five yellow cards and that Cesc Fabregas won’t be playing in Saturday’s match against Hull City for the same reason. The rotation is just yet reason why Mourinho is held in such high-esteem as a manager, a quality many feel is lacking among some other bosses in the Premier League (ahem, Brendan Rodgers).
With the ‘holidays’ given to Terry, Hazard and Willian, Mourinho will hand some valuable experience to youth players with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, an 18-year-old midfielder, included in the squad.