Jose Mourinho's been anything but quote-shy since having his re-appointment as manager confirmed. Which is really a fun thing, since on a parched day that has so far been a bit surprisingly devoid of transfer chatter, the Happy One's taken it upon himself to light it up with sound bytes.
He recently spoke on a number of subjects regarding the general functioning of his second tenure at the club. However, before we discuss what he said, let's be clear on one thing — nobody plays the 'Captain Obvious' role with more matter-of-factly poise than Mourinho himself.
As is their wont, journalists have, as often as they've been able to, tried stirring up mini-whirlpools of controversy with expectedly controversial questions before the actual tempest (read: new season) hits. Their newest attempt had them wondering what the disciplinarian side of new regime would entail.
To which, the Happy One replied:
"There is something I say whenever I go to a new club and I am going to say it again when I meet the players on July 8 - and some of the boys will have heard it before from me,"
"It is a sentence I always say on the first day: 'If you are a top professional, if you are not a selfish person, if you put the club in front of yourself and if you are here to work 100 per cent for me, for your fellow players and for the club, then we will have a wonderful relationship."
'What's this Jose?!' they wailed — 'Not a single sight of controversy?!' 'Treachery!' they cried.
Imploring the Happy One to drop them a spicy line or two, seemingly spoiling for quotes easy to misconstrue, they sure wouldn't have been disappointed to hear Mourinho say:
"If you are selfish, if you think about yourself and you don't care about the club, don't care about the image, if you don't care about the fans then we are in big trouble, so it depends on you if the relationship is fantastic or if it is not fantastic."
"Sometimes you have a couple of guys that are not too keen to accept these kind of rules and this is where you have some problematic relationships, and the club in that moment either supports the problematic player or the manager.
"If the club supports the manager the two little guys - gone, easy."
A malicious little glint in their eyes, the journos scribbled furiously, licking their lips in anticipation as they did so. Their dose of the day's controversy delivered, they settled back into the torporific routine, a series of safe questions ensuing.
Of particular note amongst these was his response to whether going back to a former club was a bad idea.
"Don’t say that to Jupp Heynckes,
Because he went three times to Bayern Munich and the third time he won the treble."
“So, don’t say, ‘Don’t go back’ to Heynckes unless you want to say to me that I have to leave again and come back for a third time! I want to think we know each other very, very well at Chelsea. The club knows me, I know the club. I don’t think this should work negatively."
"This should be a plus, not a minus. It should be something to help us to do well and not the other way.
From an emotional point of view, I feel I am coming back. It’s my dug-out, the dug-out where I never lost a match, it’s my stadium, it’s my dressing-room, it’s Cobham, it’s my office, it’s my same table. But, from a professional point of view, it’s not different to arriving at a new club – the same ambitions."
Having nearly had their fill, but greedy for more, they pestered the Happy One, determined to dissolve his happiness in disdain; was dealing with their presence was not enough? Undeterred they tried, perhaps there was an inch more controversy to be extracted from this fateful encounter.
Instead, when quizzed on his assessment of the new power structure in place at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho gave them this:
"I think it’s very motivational,
It demands more from you. I think you have to think more about every decision, every move."
“You need to work more closely with the board, with the financial area. You have to have a different perspective at the players on loan, the players from the youth system. It’s more global – instead of focusing yourself on just on your team and your ambitions it’s an overall view. It’s a different profile of job and I’m happy with that.”
“In the area of the scouting of players and especially young players, the club had an evolution,
The club is better now than when I came here. It’s better because it needs to be better. You have to scout more; you have to follow more. You cannot do it without a good structure.”
'Oi hang on… Did he just… praise Michael Emenalo? What's that — we'll have to send those pre-written 'Pre-mature Power Struggle' drafts to the shredder now?! [Fun] it Jimmy, [Fun] it all!'