Jose Mourinho made some comments that will have the media buzzing this evening, about John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, and David Luiz. First up were his comments about Chelsea's captain, which I'm sure will make the vast majority of the headlines:
‘He’s not safe and he knows he’s not safe. The only thing he knows is safe is our friendship, our relationship. Professionally, nobody is safe. Friends are friends but this is a business. I know he’s a very good player, but he has to prove himself like everybody else.’
‘I have spoken to John. John has to work hard, give everything and the club will arrive at a conclusion. He loves the club. But he has to play completely free of that. I’m sure he’s able to do that, like Frank Lampard did.’
I'm sure the media will run in all sorts of silly directions here, but the bottom line is that this would probably be true with any manager taking over. Terry's performances over the past year and a half haven't earned him an every-match starting job, and until they do, it's only right that he's fighting for his place like everyone else.
Far more important in my eyes were his comments on David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic:
‘For me, Luiz is a central defender. He can help the team playing in another position but he’s a central defender, no doubt about it. I know Ivanovic is very comfortable in the center but I see him and Cesar Azpilicueta as our two right backs. Our defensive group will be good.’
I'd agree with Mourinho's assessment of both Luiz and Ivanovic, but it's nice to hear him make these comments anyway. David Luiz absolutely should be playing as a center back, as he's one of the best in the world when hee's on top of his game. Ivanovic is also more than adequate in the middle, but I've always been more impressed by the Serbian when he's deployed on the right side of the defense.
The really exciting part for me is that deploying Ivanovic as a right back means we're likely to see a good deal of Tomas Kalas in the center. The thought of Luiz and Kalas together is both tantalizing and terrifying. The pair would be ideal for the sort of high line we've occasionally deployed over the past two seasons, but at the same time it's hard to ask a youngster to cover the Brazilian's occasional bouts of madness. It will certainly be lots of fun though, and that's why we tune in every week.