While it needed Jose Mourinho a little bit of time to get his bearings in the Premier League and Chelsea once again, it seems like the most outspoken manager in Europe is up to his old tricks again, trying to do some sort of minor damage to opponents before the season even began.
Mourinho made headlined recently by both praising David Moyes out of the blue, kicking off the relationship with the new Manchester United manager on good terms, although the moment the two will be running side by side towards the title you can be sure things will be a little different, while announcing that Manchester City are the favorites to win the Premier League this season because of their spending this summer.
While Mourinho hasn’t spent the kind of money we usually see him make owners spend each summer in order to make him the greatest manager on earth, Chelsea haven’t been completely idle, adding Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel for a total of £29.3 million. He hasn’t got the striker he wants, but the offseason isn’t over.
Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Mario Gomez and Luis Suarez. Plenty of names have been mentioned since he took over the position, but none have come. In fact, Chelsea have made an offer for only one player – Wayne Rooney, but United rejected the first bid. With Romelu Lukaku having the potential to take over the front-man job for the Blues this season already, maybe spending £30-40 million on Rooney isn’t necessary or wise.
Mourinho can only be a part of rich, big clubs. He has said so himself. He even slightly mocked Manuel Pellegrini in the past for doing what he does with Malaga, partially taking a jab at him for previously finishing second with Real Madrid before Jose Mourinho took over, and finished second twice with a championship in between the two seasons.
And yet he hasn’t found the players he has wanted, nor has he managed to outbid other teams around Europe for those he was satisfied with. Manuel Pellegrini, with the money and spending power of City, brought over four players in the form of Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic, with two of them (Jovetic and Fernandinho) being on the shortlist for Chelsea as well.
Mourinho’s strengths? Tactics and being able, initially at least, to bind his new group of players together into a very cohesive unit, while shielding them from the media by deflecting everything himself. Questions about the long run and how will the ideal atmosphere last are irrelevant at the moment. Chelsea haven’t won a championship in three years, and haven’t been part of the title race in all of them. Mourinho has a quality squad that’s still unbalanced, but he seems to have faith in his players, declaring he won’t be selling any of them, despite the rumors around Juan Mata and David Luiz.
When you don’t feel your team has the best chances to win for whatever reasons, resorting to psychological warfare this early on is probably the best thing he can do.