On the eve of a tougher-than-it-looks match away at the Hawthorns, Jose Mourinho has seen fit to address Manuel Pellegrini's comments from a few days ago. A bit of an odd timing, if you ask me - how about we make sure we get all three points form West Brom first? - but who am I to question the tactical mind game strategy of one Sun Tzourinho?
In case you don't recall amid all the talk of horse husbandry, the Manchester City manager accused Chelsea of hypocrisy (oh noes!), calling us "very rich"
horsies bullies who have spent the most money in the transfer market over the past decade and who have also spent the most money just this year as well. How dare we not call ourselves big spending transfer market heavyweights!
Most managers may not have bothered with a response, but Mourinho isn't most managers. In fact, getting the reaction out of Pellegrini was exactly what he wanted.
"(Pellegrini) has a fantastic team, fantastic players, is a good manager. He's been speaking about winning four competitions, so there's no reason to change the speech."
"But the only funny thing is that he keeps saying he never responds to Mourinho, he never comments about Mourinho. He said that in Spain, too. So, he's changed."
-José Mourinho; source: Daily Mail
Needless to say, he-who-Pellegrini-doesn't-talk-about had his rebuttal all worked out, and probably well in advance, too. Although that didn't prevent him from forgetting about Kurt Zouma (£12m). Should've had Jake Cohen double-check your numbers, José!
"When someone says Chelsea bought Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, you have to say they sold Juan Mata and De Bruyne, and had a profit of £23m. So instead of saying we're the big spenders in the January market, it's probably better to say we are the ones who made the most money. Us and maybe Newcastle, with [Yohan] Cabaye leaving for £19m."
"Pellegrini is a fantastic coach and, on top of that, he's an engineer by qualification. I don't think an engineer needs a calculator to do Mata £37m and De Bruyne £18m, so that's £55m. [Nemanja] Matic is £21m and [Mohamed] Salah is £11m. That's £32m, and 55 minus 32 is 23. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23m. It's easy to understand that this is working with fair financial fair play. We are building a team for the next decade. City have a team to win now: experience, potential, power, not worried about FFP because, in the summer, they just spend ... We don't need a calculator for this. It's easy: +23."
-José Mourinho; source: Guardian
Jose clearly doesn't know engineers; we use calculators for everything! The basic transfer fee maths do check out however, even if the full FFP picture is a bit more complicated than that. To wit, keenly aware of the new reality, here is Mourinho pouring salt in my still festering, open Cavani-sized wound:
Mourinho said that Chelsea's refusal to compete for Cavani and Falcao was directly related to their desire to respect UEFA's new financial fair-play regulations. "Correct," he said. "Players are not just about transfer fees, but big wages. There's a certain profile of player we don't go near."
In any case, with City (and PSG) basically cooking the books to pass FFP, Mourinho is probably not wasting his breath in keeping the media attention on the newest of the newly rich. It could become rather interesting for them if UEFA does in fact add bite to its FFP bark in the near future.