The Guardian had some interesting quotes from the happy one this evening, as Mourinho opened up and talked about Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, and the shapes we're likely to see next season. Here are the highlights:
"We will play 4-2-3-1 in the first game, my favourite system, though sometimes I change the triangle and play with one in front of the defenders and two players up. Other times I play with double midfielders and a No10. This is a team where we have not one or two but three or four players who like very much to be a No10: [Kevin] De Bruyne likes it, Oscar likes it, Mata likes it, [Eden] Hazard likes it. It is a natural system for all these players to play."
"But in another match I could change it. If we are losing, we might need to have two pure strikers. It is something we will work on because I would like to have this capacity to have it ready to play, independent of the players we have. Naturally, we will have four at the back and in my team, the attackers are attackers. Some guys say we play 4-2-3-1, blah blah blah blah, and sometimes the attackers have a defensive job so it is more like 4-5-1. But it is not 4-5-1, it is 4-3-3."
"With Mata, I need to get to know him better. I like sometimes to play with what I call 'wingers with the wrong foot' – right-footed men on the left and left-footed men on the right. He is the only left-footed player we have when we want to play with a winger on the right side, but the competition is hard. We will have Schurrle, De Bruyne, Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Moses for these three positions and so we have many more options than Chelsea had in the last year. These are crucial positions for me. I like these players to play with high intensity so to have five players for three positions is, I think, brilliant for me. It's fantastic."
Mourinho also touched on everybody's favorite Blue, Fernando Torres:
"First of all I don't want the club to sell. We are very much on board and connected, me and the board and the owner, and we don't need to sell players. We are happy with the group we have. We are not on this market pressure. If something happens it will happen naturally but we are in a position where we are not worried."
The formation bit is interesting, as anyone that has followed Mourinho closely over the years knows that he's tended to adapt his formation to the opponent. From the sound of it, I'd guess we see a very similar shape from last season when we face an inferior opponent. In typical Mourinho fashion though, I'd expect to see some surprises when we meet top European sides.
I'm not going to put too much into the Fernando Torres bit, as I'm sure the club would love to unload his substantial wages if they manage to bring in a top class striker. The obvious idiocy of beginning last season with only two striker on the roster should be something the club has learned from, so until the club actually land (or develop) a player that pushes him to fourth on the depth chart, Mourinho will likely be "happy" to have him.
The Mata bit is exceptionally heartening, as Jose clearly has a role in mind for him already. The Spanish media won't be thrilled to hear that, but it appears that Mata is Mou's "type".
All in all, I probably more excited for the game starting just over 14 hours from now than I was for most of the real games during the run-in to the season. Sure, these pre-season friendlies don't really mean anything in the grand scheme of thing, but Jose Mourinho is back! I love the happy one.