Chelsea balls: Mourinho praises his dignity, John Terry wants love and death, Fabregas looks innocent
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continues to set the sports pages agenda.
The Sun (backpage): “BLUES BROTHERS”.
Chelsea captain John Terry says Chelsea are United and squarely behind Mourinho. This is unlovely, driven and pragmatic Terry – Mourinho’s vision of football made bone and meat. No shock he supports his manager.
Pages 56-57: “No surrender but players worried Jose has become the…LONELY ONE.”
Andrew Dillon says Jose is “used to fighting the world – but he is not used to the world winning”. We hear from John Terry, who says: “We don’t want to be fighting the world. You want to be loved, as an individual and as a club…”
As we roll our eyes at the charmless JT talking of love, Mourinho recalls words he said in 2004 after his Porto side had won the Champions League. “I had said that one day in my career bad results would come… One day the bad results will come and I’ll face the bad results with all the same honesty and dignity that I’m facing now as European champions.”
Who looks at Mourinho and sees his honesty and dignity? Correct answer: John Terry. Wrong answer: referees, The FA, Dr Eva Carneiro, Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova, Andres Frisk…
Page 57: “Zola: I’ve a dream”
Gianfranco Zola wants to manage Chelsea. He says he “needs to improve as a manager if I want to get there.” No kidding.
The Times (back page): Terry furious at criticism of Mourinho”
John Terry has words for the player who apparently said he’d rather Chelsea lost than win for Mourinho. “The player wouldn’t be let out of the dressing room,” says Terry.
Cesc Fabregas says he’s not the poison in the well.
Terry blames the messenger and says the BBC reporting the story fell “well below their standards”. When John Terry is the barometer of standards, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself. Or laugh.
The Express (bak page): “Rebels at Chelsea? They wouldn’t get out alive”
Not quite what John Terry said. He never did threaten to murder the enemy in the camp.
Mirror (back page): “BACK OFF”
John Terry has “pleaded with critics not to drive Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard out of the Premier League”.
Daily Mail (back page): “Jose: I’ll be at Chelsea until 2019:
Looks like Jose’s not leaving.
And he wants to remain in London even if Chelsea give him the boot.
As Matt Hughes told Times readers:
José Mourinho will be permitted to work for another English club if he is sacked by Chelsea under the terms of his contract at Stamford Bridge. It is understood that while the four-year deal he signed last August contains a clause stipulating that Mourinho is entitled to one year’s salary of £9.5 million in the event of his dismissal, there is nothing restricting his future employment.
Sack him and he stays in London? But who would he manage? Arsenal fans can’t abide him. Spurs wanted Mourinho in 2007 after he was sacked by Chelsea. But the severance package prevented him moving to White Hart Lane. Would Spurs move for him again? Would West Ham United?