Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jose Tells Blues: It's Us against the World; Chelsea Coach Uses Fighting Talk in Bid to Build a Siege Mentality

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jose Tells Blues: It's Us against the World; Chelsea Coach Uses Fighting Talk in Bid to Build a Siege Mentality

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

CHELSEA'S preparations for their title defence begin in earnest with tonight's friendly at Wycombe Wanderers, but for Jose Mourinho the campaign is already in full swing.

After his holidays, as well as time spent mourning a young nephew, Mourinho has returned to London in the only way he knows how, providing a withering dissection of his potential rivals. The pouting Portuguese is back with a bang.

Like any leader Mourinho knows the value of a good pep-talk on the eve of battle and there are those who suggest that he suffers from a Napoleon complex: that of a small, in many ways undistinguished man determined to take on the world.

After last season, Mourinho was always going to struggle to match the breathtaking audacity with which he waltzed into Stamford Bridge last summer, proclaiming himself the Special One and stabbing Claudio Ranieri in the back before he had passed through customs, but in the early days of this campaign he has achieved the nigh-on impossible.

A man with a flair for drama has provided a fascinating sequel.

Mourinho's charm, or should that be charmless, offensive began with an outright assault on the prospects of Chelsea's title rivals in the club's official magazine on Monday and it has not stopped since.

His reasonable thesis that the alsorans must improve climaxed with the more fanciful suggestion that Manchester United deserved to have bottles thrown at them during their lap of honour after a trophyless season.

Then he warmed to a favourite theme yesterday, what he perceives to be the hypocrites of Highbury.

In a devastating attack on the integrity of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and David Dein, he concluded that all three were hardly angels and called for Dein to be removed from his position on the Football Association's International Board.

Although Arsenal were not goaded into a formal response, club sources were quick to dismiss Mourinho's central complaints, pointing out that Dein has no influence over FA disciplinary matters and that he was elected by the Premier League. …

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