Are these the first public comments from a member of the Chelsea squad, management team, backroom staff since the weekend that in any way relate to the controversy that's since grown out of control? I want to say they just may be. There were some quotes floating around form John Terry earlier, but they were all about his personal motivations to train hard, work hard, play hard, etc. And there were a couple words from Kurt Zouma, too, but they mostly were about wanting to do well against City.
So, it would seem that Nemanja Matic was the first one to face a question that was at least partially about Mourinho's actions and character. "Naturally," the Standard claim, "Matic doesn't want to get involved in what has occurred with the medical department and the story behind it." Duh. But he's happy to serve as a character witness.
"He always wants to win. You can see every game, if he could run on the pitch to play, he would. His character is like this, we know that. We try to do our best to follow him and his ideas."
"Each game is different. It is emotional. But on the training ground he is a different person. He is quiet, he always speaks with us and we all have a good relationship with him."
"Every coach has a moment where he is more serious in public and that's the same for him. I have been back at the club for a year and a half, I feel great in the team and have never had a problem with him. I think he keeps control of everything and he is great for this club."
Mourinho apparently gave the players the silent treatment after the disappointing end to Saturday's match. Maybe he should've saved some of the shouting for them instead. Oh well.
In more interesting news, it sounds like Matic might be the next Chelsea player to be looking towards a future career in coaching.
"Football is my life and I want to stay in it. I haven't started studying my badges yet, it is something I will do in the future. In my career I have played under some great coaches and I try to take something from all of them. I can learn a lot of things from Jose. I can use him for that! It is good to train under him — his sessions are always interesting. I will start to take notes and read more about the game because it is good to compare and to learn."
"Of course everyone wants to be coach of Chelsea and it would be great if I reached that level one day. Also Benfica is a great club. But I still have 10 years of my playing career left. I'm 27 so have a lot more to give."
So what about more immediate concerns, like the match coming up in a couple days? Matic finishes his promotional interview — he's promoting some Top 11 game that I've never heard of despite its Clarksonian claims of being "the most played online sports game in the world" — with a few confident words.
"If you see our team, we have great players. You look at Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Diego Costa, they are great players and I'm not sure if any other player in the world could come to Chelsea tomorrow and say they will be in the first team for sure."
"If anyone thinks the team who are champions aren't good enough to win it again, it's not true. We finished eight points above of Manchester City and led the title race for the longest time in the Premier League. This is more than enough evidence to show why we can do it again. If anyone comes to the club, they are always welcome. But I think Chelsea are strong enough now to compete with every team."
"The champions are always ready to repeat it and to do even more. We have a lot of young players in the team and we can improve."
BOOM. The SPIDERBEAST has spoken.