Jose Mourinho hints at troubles
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has suggested the brand of football the club are trying to play is at the root cause of their current woes, in comments that may provide the first test of his renewed relationship with owner Roman Abramovich.
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Last weekend's Premier League defeat at Everton was followed up by a shock 2-1 home defeat against FC Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Now Mourinho appears to have fanned the flames by claiming his side's failure to show a clinical touch in front of goal is a symptom of the fantasy football being promoted by the club's hierarchy.
"I feel we are going in one direction, which is the direction we want to be to play a certain kind of football, but the reality is we are not scoring goals," he is quoted in the Daily Mirror.
"You can't say we don't score goals because we're not an offensive team and don't play offensive football and don't have ball possession, because we have an attacking mentality.
"Probably, if we play a defensive game and we just go on the counter-attack, probably we go there and score two or three goals."
Many an observer suggested Mourinho would struggle to adapt his tried and tested coaching methods that have tended to evolve around strong, powerful performers to work with the kind of nimble footed, diminutive performers he has inherited at Chelsea.
Powerhouse defender Branislav Ivanovic is the kind of performer Mourinho may now rely upon to get his season up and running against Fulham this weekend and the Chelsea stalwart has offered this rallying cry after a difficult week for the club.
"We have to stand up and show the character for the other games because we can't go back and have to look forward." Ivanovic told the Chelsea website. "It's a bad start in the Champions League but it's just the first game.
"We conceded the first one, which was difficult for us, and after that we started to do different things. We weren't ready for that moment and we then conceded the second one to lose the game, but we have to come back now."