Jose Mourinho is a happy man right now. Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to move five points clear at the top of the table, and he was extremely pleased with how the game -- a far stiffer challenge than last year, of course -- went, as well as how far this side has come since last season. Take a peek:
For those of you who don't want to watch video, here's the transcript:
Q: What pleased you most about that performance? Everybody, the unit?
A: I think I start by [talking about] them (Arsenal). They were good. They had a different approach, they were more solid, they were more difficult. And that makes our victory different, because we beat a good team, beat a very good team full of very good players.
I'm happy with everything because, in this moment, our team is able to adapt to everything. What the game gives us, we can cope with it. We are not this kind of -- I don't know if this is the right word but -- fundamentalist team, that plays only the same way, does the same thing. We can play in different ways, we can adapt to different situations. When they had the ball we were comfortable; when we had the ball, when we have the chance to touch and to pass, we were comfortable; when we were playing in the counterattack we were comfortable. So I think in this moment the team is mature, it's confident and I'm very happy with the victory.
This ties in directly to what I love most about Mourinho's management. What I want from a Chelsea team is adaptability rather than any fundamentalist (I'd call it dogmatic, but we'll humour the manager) philosophy, because it allows you to exploit whatever the game tosses at you. It's the job of the coaching staff to equip the team with the tools to deal with any situation, and then the job of the players to execute. This new, mature Chelsea side -- little horses no longer -- has found its balance and is more than capable of handling whatever gets thrown at it.
Arsenal, meanwhile, can at least take some measure of pride in not actively sabotaging themselves this time around. Congratulations, Arsenal! You tried!