Chelsea

What Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho Is Saying vs. What He's Really Thinking

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2013

What Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho Is Saying vs. What He's Really Thinking

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    There's a saying that pictures can paint a thousand words. Well, as we've learned much to our delight—or annoyance, depending on which side of the fence you sit—a press conference or interview with Jose Mourinho can do a whole lot more.

    Chelsea's Portuguese manager has made a habit throughout his career of teasing the media, giving journalists beautiful quotes one moment, only to throw a curveball the next and have everyone confused.

    From bamboozling his way into English football in 2004 as the "Special One," he returned to Chelsea this summer rebranding himself the "Happy One."

    Yeah, like we ever believed that old chestnut. Or did we?

    The appeal of Mourinho and his antics is that we never really quite know what he is hoping to achieve from each statement he makes to TV cameras or a journalist's Dictaphone.

    Is it all part of a game, or is the Portuguese genuinely serious when he appears to be playing tricks?

    Playing the role of a brave psychologist, Bleacher Report attempts to decipher what really is going on in the mind of Jose Mourinho, picking through some of his more famous moments at Stamford Bridge this season to get behind what the Portuguese is really thinking.

"Beautiful Eggs"

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    Beautiful, young eggs. Eggs that need a mum, or in this case a dad, to take care of them, to keep them warm during the winter.

    Ahead of Chelsea's clash with Basel on Matchday 1 of the Champions League, Mourinho spoke those words and wasted no time in getting a rise from Europe's media by describing his team as being one of "young eggs."

    It was taken quite literally that Mourinho sees this team as being youthful and one that must be nurtured to maturity.

    Could that be an open admission that he doesn't expect to be successful this season? Or simply that he is happy to be working with a group of talented young players?

    Perhaps, but we have a different theory dating back to 2007 when Mourinho eventually lost his job after Chelsea drew with Rosenborg in their opening Champions League match of the season at Stamford Bridge.

    The Portuguese is savvy and he knows more than most how anything he says can easily be turned back onto him, such as his now infamous press conference ahead of that 1-1 draw when omelets were the order of the day (which can be viewed on YouTube).

    This was Mourinho playing his own games, however.

    The last time he was Chelsea manager in the Champions League, a similar analogy produced the headlines and he was all too aware of that fact this time around. Only now, there is harmony between him and Roman Abramovich, but Mourinho has been the beneficiary.

    Here we are, the same location and position, only six years on. The difference is Mourinho has the team he wants. Rather than cooking a bad omelet, he's nurturing these eggs and waiting for them to hatch.

     

"I'm Not a Kid"

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    I look forward to playing Tottenham as always [not facing Andre Villas-Boas] [..] I don't describe [my relationship with him] because I'm not a kid. I think it's a personal thing and I'm not a kid to discuss these things with you.

    It's not often Jose Mourinho refuses to discuss anything with the media, but he did when asked about his relationship with Andre Villas-Boas in September ahead of Chelsea's clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

    In contrast, Villas-Boas was willing to be open and very candid about how the pair's friendship eroded, yet it was what Mourinho didn't say that was more striking.

    While his former apprentice discussed things at length, Mourinho's silence said it all. He doesn't regard Villas-Boas as his peer, so why should he even acknowledge what he has to say?

    "I'm not a kid," he said. Clearly he thinks Villas-Boas is, and like any clever adult, he is going to take the high ground and ensure the child remains beneath him, which is where Mourinho appears to view Villas-Boas right now.

"You Know Nothing"

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    Lot's of people, including yourself [Jamie Redknapp], you like very much Mata and believe that Mata should be in that position [as Chelsea's starting No. 10]. I think the evolution of the team and the way I want to play with Mata and Oscar together, I want that, but one has to adapt and work better.

    That quote was a polite response to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp's analysis of Chelsea and Juan Mata's predicament following their 2-0 win over Fulham this season.

    Mourinho acknowledged Redknapp's opinion, but his delivery said otherwise. Reading between the lines, his tone and body language, it was clear Mourinho was desperate to tell Redknapp "you know nothing."

    In fact, he came very close when he quipped: "The Chelsea manager is Jose Mourinho and not Jamie Redknapp."

    Indeed.

"I'm Still the Special One"

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    The game was easy to kill, but we didn't [...] I look to my side, in this this case to my back in the dugout, and I see people with things to do that can help to change the game and all of them [substitutes Samuel Eto'o, Willian and Eden Hazard] came in and gave an important contribution to change the game.

    Speaking after Chelsea's 3-1 win over Norwich City on Oct. 6, Mourinho was acknowledging the role his players had in securing three points.

    But they didn't kill off the game when they should have. They needed his intervention with him introducing Samuel Eto'o, Willian and Eden Hazard from the substitutes bench.

    Hazard and Willian scored, putting the game beyond Norwich's reach and with that cementing the manager's role in another victory.

    Mourinho's thoughts? I'm still the Special One and don't you forget it.

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @garryhayes

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