BT Sport finally managed to cash-in properly on their working relationship with Jose Mourinho by scoring the definitive post-Crystal Palace interview, upstairs in the Mourinho abode while the rest of Jose's family waited patiently downstairs to go to dinner. It's a slightly bizarre scene — presenter Jake Humphrey doesn't really look all that comfortable trying to fold his lanky frame onto that couch — but for a man (and manager) who emphasizes family (both his biological one and his Chelsea one), it's perhaps the most perfect setting.
It's a fantastic interview and if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch it. Like, now. Now!
Here are a few highlights:
- The pitch wasn't watered properly on Sunday?! Are we firing someone in the grounds crew? I know California's under severe water restrictions, but surely London's doing ok.
- Mourinho always sleeps well before a game. Sometimes not so well after.
- Jose does his best to keep his professional and private life separate, but sometimes it's hard. "They don't read papers, they don't watch news, they read me." But he and his family are "super happy," and, Abramovich-willing, they will all be happy for a long-long time.
- Already thinking of the next game. So are Terry (who's having a "magnificent season") and Ivanovic, both of whom want to start every game and will not be changed for the last three. But players who didn't play as much this season will get to play, Jose assures.
- "If you want to be in the Top 4, you have to think about being champions."
- "Why not us?" to repeat next season (or fall out of the top 4). Reaching Ferguson's record of 13 Premier League wins is probably not possible, regardless.
- Cesc Fàbregas gave a "fantastic" team talk ahead of Crystal Palace.
- No time to be nervous on the bench. The second half unfolded exactly as Mourinho predicted at the half. "Our team had answers for everything this season." Even as we faced suspensions and injuries in the "pragmatic" second half of the season. Schürrle's goal against Burnley and Čech's save from Lukaku were two of the most defining moments of the season.
- The post-match celebratory hug from Abramovich means more than a thousand words.
- Chelsea's critics don't affect him (though they do bother him a little bit and enough to not want to become a pundit), nor is Jose going to change his ways. But he believes our players ("they're good kids") deserve far more respect in the media than they're getting.