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Mourinho talks Torres, Shevchenko and it's really not as controversial as some might tell you

Richard Heathcote

The headline rolled across my computer screen and the world went into slow motion for a minute.


Bombshell, right? I mean that's as good as saying that Fernando Torres is gone, right?


As expected, the actual quotes in tonight's Daily Mirror piece on all things Jose Mourinho are far less incendiary.

"Torres so far is so-so," said Mourinho. ­"Somebody could expect more because of his potential, because of what he did before. But not so bad as people sometimes try to say."

Well that's nothing ... special ... now, is it? Some of us would call this the truth. We expected the world from Fernando because of his past successes and because of his enormous transfer fee and wages. He probably never had a chance to live up to any of that and now it's too late to change it. Yes, it's pretty bad. No, it's not the worst.

But surely (Schürrle!) there's bound to be something controversial out of Mourinho, right? Let's bring Roman Abramovich's name into the conversation and remind The Happy One that he once had Andrei Shevchenko to deal with.

"There is a balance. Normally, the tendency is to say it was a big mistake. It was a big mistake because it didn’t work."

"Shevchenko? It’s not true the owner forced him on me."

"Never, never during my time did the owner interfere in the basic things of the manager – training sessions, team selection, the profile of player I want to bring."

Well, there goes that narrative.

Jose then goes into a bit more detail:

"Do you want to know the truth about Shevchenko? I hope the board is not upset with me. We wanted to buy Samuel Eto’o, he was our target. We wanted Eto’o and the owner was more than ready to do ­everything to bring Eto’o here."

"In the end, Barcelona said, ‘We don’t sell, forget it, forget it. Not any price’. The owner did everything to get him, but it was not possible. After that, we went to other options and got to Shevchenko. I was happy with him."

And while he says the following in conclusion to the Shevchenko - Eto'o (and later Torres) affairs, we should probably keep it in mind if Edinson Cavani or any other big money striker or player arrives:

"Even with the top dogs – when you buy for £30m, £40m, £50m, or £60m – sometimes it doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean you or the club made a big mistake. It just doesn’t work."

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