It's not quite clear when this interview with Jose Mourinho was conducted, but we've seen bits and pieces of it filtering out for a few days now. We've had the bit about Kevin De Bruyne, the bit about Eden Hazard, and a similar bit about rivals' spending (though not quite to the point of him urging people to get their calculators out so that Arsenal's big money signing don't fly under the radar).
So sometime between the Red Bulls match and the PSG match is when the interview happened, the full transcript of which has finally been released and various media outlets have started picking at it. Get ready for headlines about Hazard being better than Cristiano Ronaldo, about starting the mind games already with Wenger and Arsenal, about re-opening the feud with Manuel Pellegrini, and about our rivals' title chances.
Here are those and a few other choice quotes.
MOTIVATED STRIKE FORCE
"Remy wants to go back to the national team and has a Euro to play in a year in his own country. Diego is very frustrated because the last three months of the season were full of frustration and injuries for him. Falcao had a very bad season and is frustrated because people in England don't know the real Falcao.
I don't have a secret [to rebuild Falcao's confidence]. I just feel it's a new opportunity for him. He comes after a bad season, but it's not up to me to speak about it or find the answers for it. I can just say that the analysis we did, and we did a lot of it, showed he is in good condition. We believe he can be very useful for us. He's the kind of player who's proved people wrong all of his career [...] he's a very good professional. Even two weeks ago Mr Van Gaal said he he has nothing negative to say about him as a person or a professional. He's a guy who always tries to be ready for the team and ready to work. We believe he can be very important for us."
For what it's worth, Falcao made a decent show of things in his first 20 minutes in a Chelsea shirt. If nothing else, like Mourinho says and as we saw against PSG, we can add different dimensions to our attack with the various options we'll have on the bench.
"In this moment the two captains [...] I would say this year we have John [Terry] and Ivanovic. Ivanovic is more than ready to be a big captain too. More than ready: lots of experience, lots of years at Chelsea, his personality, his character, the respect that he has from the other guys. In John and Ivanovic we have two fantastic captains.
And after that we have people that come behind. Cahill, lots of years at Chelsea, also vice-captain in the England national team. Good personality, good example. Mikel is, after John, the guy with most years of Chelsea. I think Fabregas has personality for a captain too. Eden is coming with big status now [...] but let's say John and Branislav are our captains and the others are ready to come."
So the pecking order, now that Cech and Drogba have left is: Terry, Ivanovic (which we already saw in the friendly against Red Bulls), Cahill, Mikel, Fabregas, Hazard.
"I go match after match. I don't go into the first match of the season thinking about the fourth or fifth. In August I am not thinking about December or thinking about having a player in a great condition for a certain time of the season. Day by day, week after week, match after match.
That is why last season, we were playing so well, so consistent and winning match after match, for so many months without the suspension and important injuries we always had the same team and I am not going to change that philosophy."
Jose's also not concerned at all by the perceived drop in Fabregas's performance in the second half of last season.
"When a manager is on holidays and even in holidays and still thinks about me and speaks about me, I have nothing to say. [...] Yes [my mind is still on football on holiday]. But I don't do any interviews, at least in that time. You are free of everything, questions, answers, controversy, mis-interpretation, overreaction. You are free of everything. My holiday time - zero. If other guys use holiday time also for interviews, it's their problem."
We should note, once again, that Manual Pellegrini once proudly proclaimed that he never talks about other managers, especially not Jose Mourinho.
"[I referred to him as Pellegrino] because I had a player called Pellegrino and because there were two in football at the same time, one was Mauricio Pellegrino and Mr Manuel Pellegrini. I always made a mistake by calling one the other. But the last thing would be a lack of respect."
LOL. Such a troll, that José.
"We have five teams who will play for the title, only one will win and one of us will be playing Europa League in two years. That is the reality: five teams for one title and five teams for four Champions League positions. Only one will be champion and one in Europa league."
Mourinho also "cannot promise" a Champions League title, but he's guaranteeing that "we are going to be contenders" as long as he's here or as long as his successors build upon his work.
"...when there is an accumulation of mistakes like we had last season I'm sorry, it's difficult to accept. [...] If there are too many mistakes I put players on the bench and I'm sacked! And with the refs, I complain."
"I don't think there is a campaign. I said after that those words were I would clean. It was just an accumulation of mistakes. You go to Southampton, penalty; they give a yellow card to Fabregas. You go Tottenham, penalty; he doesn't give it; the aggression on Matic. We had lots of things in the same period and it was too much. But no campaign."
"I would like [Diego Costa] to be punished if he deserves to be punished. I would like him to be judged in a negative way if he deserves to be criticised by negative behaviour on the pitch. But if he behaves well I think people have to give him credit for that."
Yeah, good luck with that.