Jose Mourinho is a master of mind games and Chelsea’s Portuguese manager hasn’t disappointed ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
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The Premier League leaders welcome red-hot United to west London on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) and in his pre-match press conference Mourinho has already lauded the strength of United’s squad to put all the pressure on the opposition.
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Mourinho was also asked about UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and if it makes it easier to manage United than Chelsea, as the Red Devils swooped in to sign Juan Mata from the Blues last year and have more financial clout behind them while Chelsea has to balance the books in terms of FFP.
“Yes, it’s easier,” Mourinho said. “It was easier before at Chelsea, but it’s more fun like this. More difficult of course. We sold a lot of players, not just Juan [Mata].”
Mourinho then spoke about the strength of United’s squad, as Louis van Gaal will be without Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Phil Jones through injury, while Jonny Evans is suspended. Despite an injury crisis for the Red Devils in defense, Mourinho is amazed by the their strength in depth.
“Their squad is amazing in terms of numbers, players, experience, solutions. I have on the big screen in my office, not the team I’m going to play against but the squad and all the options. This week, when I arrived in the room, for the first time, I realized what they have. I’m not saying it’s the best squad. It’s a very good squad. I went to QPR with Didier Drogba and no strikers on the bench and, for a long time we were in trouble. You have to cope.”
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Sure, United are the second-richest team in the world in terms of the revenue they generated in the 2013-14 season ($633 million) but Chelsea still have one of the wealthiest owners in soccer as Roman Abramovich has poured countless billions into the Blues since he bought the club in 2003. Chelsea were the seventh richest team in 2013-14, as they still had revenue levels of $452 million. We all know what Mourinho is saying, with the bigger capacity at Old Trafford compared to Stamford Bridge and various other factors, United has the upper-hand in the amount of money they can spend on attracting new players.
Still, this has nothing to do with the fact that David Moyes was selected to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at United and Mourinho was allegedly overlooked for the role back in 2013-14 before he moved back to Chelsea… Right?