Mourinho: On target
news Sat 4 Jan 2014
Jose Mourinho has been looking ahead to the coming season, with the Chelsea manager speaking about the impact some of our new signings will have on his side.
Mourinho is delighted with the group of players he has at his disposal, and believes we have strengthened in the correct areas.
‘We felt last season that we had a team, not a super team, but we had a team,’ he said. ‘With that team we were fighting for the title until almost the end and we were in the Champions League semi-final.
‘From mid-season we were feeling that we needed critical, surgical new players instead of buying five, six, seven, eight, instead of going for a young talent here, another young talent there or a second-choice player here or there. We made a very early decision to go and attack three points where we felt we needed a real improvement.
‘During last season, in the January market everybody spoke about us buying a striker and trying to attack the title in the second part of the season. In that moment we didn’t make a move because our first target was Diego Costa. So if you ask me was Diego a target in May or in June, no Diego was a target that we started smelling very, very early.
‘We clearly need a player for the midfield with a different profile and we had two or three options, but, again, my club were fantastic with the way they killed the situation with Fabregas. What I did was explain to the player what I want from him, explain to the player what was waiting for him, tried to make the player believe that the move was the perfect move for him.
‘After that my club did fantastic. I was expecting Fabregas to be maybe now still training with Barcelona and us here waiting for him, but it was done before the World Cup.
‘After that, we needed a pure left-back, a real left-back. We always felt that Filipe was a very stable player and one which gave us multi-solutions because I can play Azpi right-back, Ivanovic centre back because of Filipe. We went specifically to get these targets and this is what we need.’
Costa will add a more physical, direct approach to our attacking unit and, having known the player for many years, Mourinho is confident he has all the attributes required to be a success in the Premier League.
‘I’ve known Diego since he was 17 and he went to Portugal,’ explained the Blues boss. ‘He is the kind of guy whose life was not easy, nobody gave him anything for free. He has always had to fight a lot to do things.
‘In Portugal he was a Braga player and it’s a good team. He then had to go on loan to a Championship team to be back at Braga. Then Atletico Madrid bought him, but after that he goes to Celta Vigo because Atletico had (Sergio) Aguero. Then he had to go to Real Vallecano because Atletico had (Radamel) Falcao. He comes back to Atletico when Falcao goes. The guy had to fight a lot to arrive there, I know his psychological profile and I think he is the kind of guy who is afraid of nothing and ready for everything.
‘The Premier League is difficult and he knows that, he is ready. I don’t think it will be difficult for him to succeed.’
The return of club legend Drogba will undoubtedly excite many supporters, and Mourinho insisted the decision to re-sign the Ivorian was based purely on his abilities as a footballer, as opposed to the obvious historical bond he shares with the club.
‘We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe, still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way.
‘I have brought him back because as a player he has certain qualities to make the team stronger. The team is not about the 11, it is about the different options.
‘When they (players) become older, the point is not to lose quality as a player it is about how they recover from match to match.’