In extended pre-match quotes from the current Chelsea head coach, Antonio Conte talked a bit about his famous predecessor, about two players rising in importance in the new tactical setup, and one old-timer who's heading the other way in terms of playing time.
If we combine Mourinho's two stints in charge of Chelsea, he's the club's seventh longest serving manager of all-time, and the longest serving since the mid-70s. In terms of just games managed, he's in fact fourth, behind the untouchable David Calderhead, who was in charge for a quarter century, the legendary Ted Drake, who had led Chelsea to our one and only title before Mourinho, and Dave Sexton, who won a European Cup. In terms of trophies and winning, no one even comes close to Mourinho. If any new Chelsea coach was looking to emulate the successes of one of his predecessors, Mourinho would be the right choice.
"Jose was a very important manager in the history of this club. I hope to work with this club for many years and to build something for the present and for the future. It's important to have time to work and to build and we have to work very hard to build success with this club."
"In my mind, it is always to give the maximum in my work. When you, the players and the staff do this - that is the most important thing. I give my maximum so I can go home with a clear conscience that I gave my all, every day. Only one club can win the title. We have to work, work, work and build - then, we will see at the end of the season."
Valiant aims, to be sure, though ones we've heard from Mourinho as well, before it all went spectacularly pear-shaped.
In more immediate future concerns, there's a game to be played on this Sunday, and it's unlikely to feature Chelsea Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry. While Conte was supposedly instrumental in Terry receiving his one-year contract extension at the end of last season, the Captain's role in the squad certainly seems to be on the wane, or at least changing to one involving far less active action.
"John is our captain, he has been at this club for many, many years and he deserves great respect. For me he is a great help whether I call him to start the game or if he doesn't start the game - he is an important player for us, both on the pitch and in the changing room."
"When you are captain, it is important to put your commitment in the team, not only on the pitch but also in other ways. The captain usually always helps the coach. I was captain at Juventus, I did this for five years and I know this type of role."
"In my past when I was a player and I was captain, quite often it happened that I did not play, but I always helped the team and the coach, and created the right atmosphere. But John is also a good player and when I call him to play, my expectation is always very high."
Unlike Terry, two players who have risen to prominence lately and are set to continue playing a big role are Victor Moses and David Luiz. The former has staked his claim on the new right wing-back position, while David Luiz has been anchoring the new three-man backline.
"I think that Victor is playing very well, not only now, but at the start of the season. I'm pleased to have him in our squad, because he's a fantastic player and he is a fantastic man."
"David Luiz came back to Chelsea and this is a great challenge for him. He has started very well, with great concentration and focus, and also a great will to show he has come back to play for this shirt and that it's the right choice for him."
"He has good experience because in his career he has won a lot and played with good teams. He has good technique and when you have David Luiz you can play from the back and I love this. He is also a good defender and we are working a lot with him, but also with the other defenders, to always stay focused in every single moment of the game."
Talking in a more general sense about the new 3-4-3 formation, the third different starting formation used already this season, Conte reminded that above all, his goal is to win. The 3-4-3 seems to be working at the moment, and hopefully it will continue to do so without any major hiccups, but neither the players nor the fans should be taking it for granted.
"Every single system gives good opportunities and bad opportunities. The most important thing for me is to understand the right suit for the team, because you can start with an idea, then you understand that the idea is not good because it doesn't give you the right balance, the right offensive situation or the right defensive situation and then you have to change. In this case, we are working on this tactical aspect and I think it is a good suit for us."
"I won two championships with 4-2-4, with Bari and Siena, and then at Juventus I arrived at 3-5-2, because I had players more adaptable to this type of system. It is important for the coach to understand the right suit, then you find the right system, but my preferred system is the one that helps my team win."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC