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Mourinho talks Oscar and fitness as Brazil boss Dunga visits Cobham

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It would appear that there's little chance of the sort of miscommunication and mistrust and suspicion, even, that's plaguing Chelsea and Mourinho's relationship with the Spanish national team and their head coach Vicente Del Bosque repeating itself with the Brazilian national team and their head coach Dunga.

Dunga and his staff are making it a football weekend in Europe, starting in Dortmund on Thursday before hopping over to London to visit with the Blues, talk shop with José, and catch the Premier League's best matches in the capital this weekend (Chelsea vs. WBA and Arsenal vs. Manchester United on Saturday, Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool on Sunday).

Mourinho and Dunga have at least three things in common, and the most important of those commonalities is a certain 23-year-old named Oscar.  Neymar might take up most of the headline space for Brazil, just like Eden Hazard might take up the most for Chelsea, but an on-form Oscar is the man who makes both sides truly tick.  The trick is ensure that Oscar remains on-form.

"I think his evolution in one year was important.  Of course he's not physically the typical strong man ready to cope with everything, but he's very intelligent, very technical.  The technical point of view is very important, the way he plays in the technical structure of the team: that makes him feel really happy."

"His coach in Brazil, Dunga, shares the same vision as me.  He recognises Oscar has reached a different level in his game and personality. His intention is always to improve."

"Is he the kind of kid who can play 12 times in a month? I don't think so.  But we have other options, other players who can play in his position, and his rest will arrive to make sure we don't overload him with minutes of football."

-Jose Mourinho; source: London 24

The Chelsea boss seems fully aware of how Oscar's influence tailed off in the second half of last season, and thus is taking steps to hopefully prevent the same thing from happening again this season.  It does help, especially given out busy fixture list (especially over the holiday period), that we have a tremendous medical and fitness department.

We have to take care of them ourselves: our training programme; our recovery programme; the way we think about the process and the experience we have of that. Our staff has experienced many seasons in English football. It's very important. The experience of the other players is also important, making them anticipate the problems of that marathon."


"There are things you cannot control. Kinds of injuries it is impossible to prevent or recover in record time.  There are certain types of injuries that you can do nothing about. You can do things to a certain level, but even so there are factors which can kill your strategy, especially when the players go to the national teams and the situation changes because the circumstances and habits change.  That's not because they do things badly. The human body is used to habits."

"For example, my players on the recovery day never does bicycles. I have one player in the national team whose recovery session was on a bike.  Is that wrong? I'm not saying it is. But my player never does that. When you interrupt a certain routine, the risk is higher."

"It's not fair to criticise any club or manager. My medical department works well at the prevention level."

-Jose Mourinho: source: London 24

May it long continue in our favor.

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