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Samuel Eto'o harbors no grudge against Jose Mourinho

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Clive Rose

Looking back over last season, it still strikes me as a bit odd that we had a certain Samuel Eto'o as our first-choice striker for much of the season.  It's like, whoa... what did just happen here?

Fresh off his hammock in Russia, Eto'o took forever to get into any sort of decent shape -- during which time he was awful enough that Fernando Torres got a run of games -- but then he was fairly decent, unless of course we were playing away from Stamford Bridge, in which case he was useless.  He still ended up as our second leading scorer behind Eden Hazard and did develop a pretty decent understanding with the Belgian superstar (the goal against Newcastle the primest of prime examples of that partnership).

But Mourinho spent most of the season denigrating his own strike force, and having gotten rid of two-thirds of them this summer (and, goodness willing, finishing the job with the third in the next few days), it would not be unsurprising if some of them harbored a bit of ill-will against the Chelsea boss.  Especially in the case of Eto'o, considering all those "off-the-record" quips -- I put them in quotes, because you never know what's meant to be off-the-record with Mourinho -- about the striker's age, etc.

With the 33-year-old Eto'o continuing to haunt the Premier League and Romelu Lukaku in particular, we get to at least hear his side of how that story ends.  And it sounds like it ends with a fairly happy amicable conclusion.

"It annoyed me and disturbed me a little. Sometimes I would say to myself: 'Why?' But the most important thing is what you do on the ball. It was a mistake [to concentrate on my age] and I just got my head down and worked."

"I don't know if Jose criticised my form. It is true he said something that came out very clumsily in the press but I don't think he wanted to do me harm. I have great respect for him because he gave me the opportunity to come to Chelsea. I had a lot to offer them but for whatever reason it didn't work out."

"The only thing I have to say about Jose is that I want to thank him for giving me my opportunity in English football. It is down to him that I have had the chance to play and integrate into the Premier League. That is the end of the matter. Of course I will shake his hand. I have no problem with Jose."

-Samuel Eto'o; source: Telegraph

And thus ends the epilogue of the book of Eto'o's association with Chelsea.  Godspeed, Mr. Indomitable Lion!  May you have a fine two years at Everton (but with a slow start this weekend).

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