Jose Mourinho is not a man short on confidence. That, we all know.
Following Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, Mourinho was full or praise for his teams reaction to a tough start to the Premier League season.
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Languishing in 17th spot in the PL after five games, Mourinho’s men were barely tested by Maccabi in their comfortable Group G win to open their UCL win, but it was still a morale-boosting win ahead of their huge London derby against Arsenal on Saturday at Stamford Bridge (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
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After securing their first home win of the season on Wednesday, Mourinho admitted he had “forgot the feeling” of winning a game, with Chelsea losing three of their first five matches of the PL season.
“I forgot the feeling. For so long we don’t win a game, so good, a good feeling,” Mourinho told reporters. “I am a fantastic manager when I win matches and I am a fantastic manager when I lose matches.”
Modesty and Mourinho don’t go hand in hand. That’s why this polarizing figure remains so fascinating.
Several of Mourinho’s fringe players stood out, with the likes of Kurt Zouma, Baba Rahman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressing as John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic sat on the bench. However, Eden Hazard blazed an early penalty kick over the bar and continues to underwhelm at the start of the season, as the reigning PFA Player of the Year has had a slow beginning which has typified Chelsea’s struggles.
The confidence any team gains from a win, no matter the opposition, is healthy and Chelsea’s manager and players will have an extra spring in their step ahead of their clash with the Gunners on Saturday. If the Blues win, they could be just three points off the top four once again. Will the early season crisis in West London then be over?