In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, a Tottenham player speaks about the animosity that exists between the two London clubs and Glen Johnson reveals how the mindset at Stamford Bridge changed after the arrival of Jose Mourinho in 2004.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Chelsea rivalry is bigger than Arsenal: Alli
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli believes the animosity of his club’s rivalry with north London neighbours Arsenal has been surpassed by the enmity which he and his team-mates feel towards Chelsea, the Mirror reports.
Spurs have been involved in a number of high-profile clashes against the Blues in recent years including the May 2016 match at Stamford Bridge when nine Tottenham players were booked in the 2-2 draw which ended their hopes of winning the title.
With Chelsea beating Spurs in both Premier League meetings this season, the England international spoke of how the rivalry has intensified between both sets of players.
‘I think if you ask the fans they will give you a different answer,’ said Alli in a YouTube video produced for Copa90.
‘But as players - the way things have been going with the league and the games - the rivalry with Chelsea is bigger than the one with Arsenal, because of what they have done to us in recent years.
‘For fans it’s different, because the North London derby is massive, but as players I think it’s Chelsea.’
Johnson on Mourinho’s ‘fear factor’
According to the Evening Standard, former Chelsea full-back Glen Johnson has revealed how Jose Mourinho’s fear factor was crucial to the club winning our first Premier League title in 2005.
While Johnson played for the Blues in only 16 games in that championship-winning campaign, he still thinks highly of the Portuguese manager who brought a new mindset to the club when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.
‘Mourinho was an absolutely brilliant coach and what I really enjoyed was how refreshing everything he did was,’ wrote Johnson in a sponsored blog.
‘The methods he used were different to anything we’d experienced before, but it really didn’t take long to adjust to them. When I first met him I didn’t really know much about him or who he was and it was very unique to meet a manager who had the charisma that Jose had. None of us really knew how to take it, but we learnt quickly how he was and the way he wanted to do things.
‘Jose was clever in the fact that he would be nice to everyone, but there was a dark side that brought a fear factor to the squad. Even the more high-profile players were wary of him and fearful of getting on the wrong side of him. You didn’t want to disappoint him and that’s what spurred us on.’
Added the former England full-back: ‘We were so confident and although we didn’t necessarily blow teams away, we always thought we were going to win. In any sport, confidence is huge and if you give the best players confidence then who’s going to stop them?
‘That’s credit to Mourinho in the way he made us feel and the fact that he got us enjoying training. Everyone was just riding the crest of a wave and we all believed in what he said to us.’
Hamann likens reported Blues target to Ballack
Speaking to Sky Sports, former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann has described reported transfer target Kai Havertz as an exceptional midfielder who he likens to former Blue Michael Ballack.
The Athletic has linked the Blues with the 20-year-old who has impressed at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen this season and Hamann feels we would be getting a player similar to one of our former German stars if we were to sign him.
‘The one player who stands out for me is Havertz. He's an exceptional player who reminds me of a young Michael Ballack,’ said the former Liverpool player.
‘He has that air of arrogance in a nice way about him and he's just a natural, he's two-footed, he's tall and he's good in the air. He's very versatile, he can play across the front, he can play in any position. I think he is the best player we have got in Germany at the moment.
‘There's talk about [Timo] Werner maybe going to England and obviously he's a different player but I think Havertz is the one I would be looking at.’