The Chelsea manager sat down with ESPN's Shaka Hislop recently to talk about the upcoming season, which starts this weekend with the annual curtain raiser, charity match, friendly that is the Community Shield. Shaka, a former Premier League goalkeeper himself with Newcastle, West Ham, and Portsmouth, was of course quite interested in the details of the situation regarding the Chelsea goalkeepers.
Mourinho's retelling of Cech's transfer to Arsenal matches the commonly understood version of the story. The Chelsea manager made no qualms about preferring Cech to leave the Premier League, but he was powerless to stop our legendary goalkeeper from choosing Arsenal. And while that may make for good headlines — right, Daily Mail? — the fact remains that the final decision from both Cech and Abramovich is not only understood by the manager, but even respected and admired, at least in the case of the owner's generosity to allow Cech essentially free reign to choose his next challenge.
In his press conference on Friday, Mourinho pointed out that he's faced Cech as an adversary before, during Inter Milan's Champions League-winning campaign, which went through Stamford Bridge. For many of our players and for most Chelsea fans, this will a very new experience however. For at least 90 minutes, and chances are for much of the upcoming season (and probably seasons), Cech will be the enemy. Weird.
On a related note, when Shaka Hislop jokes that he's available on a free transfer, Mourinho lets slip that Jamal Blackman, currently third choice, might need to go on loan. Could those random rumors of a bid for Fulham's young Marcus Bettinelli have some legs after all?