Premier League

Mourinho wants Blues ruthlessness

Jose Mourinho expects Tottenham to be Premier League title contenders.
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Jose Mourinho wants his Chelsea team to show a ruthless streak and "destroy" opponents when the opportunity presents itself.

Chelsea were scintillating at times early in their 2-0 win over Hull on Sunday and host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

Villa's most recent trip to Stamford Bridge was on December 23, when they were thrashed 8-0 by the Blues.

Mourinho believes it would be difficult for any team to live with his side at the intensity with which they began the season and hopes the Blues can produce the same performance, but for longer.

"If we do that, we destroy an opponent," Mourinho said.

"Playing that way you have to score goals, even if the opposing goalkeeper saves a penalty.

"We want to win matches, but what I like is that when you have the chance to destroy to beat them by three, four, or five, we have to do it.

"If someone has the chance to do it to you, they will not forgive you, they will give you nothing.

"If someone feels that they can do it to us they will do it - when you are in trouble, they smash you - so if we have the chance to do it, we have to do it. That is football."

Mourinho was thrilled by his team's performance in the early stages against Hull before Eden Hazard, Oscar and Kevin de Bruyne "disappeared" in the second half.

That was attributed to the international break after a long pre-season, but with Juan Mata, Victor Moses and Andre Schurrle waiting in the wings, Chelsea have the capability to sustain the intensity.

Mourinho added: "This is a style of play very much adapted to our type of players.

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"We can use these players all the time, even with a busy schedule we can change things and keep the same profile of player.

"If we can keep that style of play together with the ambition of getting points, I think it is all right."

Chelsea's squad may invite envious glances across London from Arsenal, who lost 3-1 to Villa last Saturday.

Arsene Wenger is under scrutiny from his own supporters, who want him to sign players to boost the squad before the closure of the transfer window on September 2 and are questioning the powers of the Frenchman, who has control of many aspects of the club.

Mourinho, who believes Arsenal are one of six teams who could win the title, said: "I don't think he is under pressure. He has big stability in the club. He is the one who is close to Sir Alex's (Ferguson) profile.

"Fans are always against you when you don't get results. He has big stability in the club, experience, he knows how to cope with the pressure.

"I am sure he is not reading the papers but the reports about Fenerbahce. He is worried about Fenerbahce. He beats Fenerbahce and he gets into the Champions League. Stability comes. I don't think there is a problem."

Tottenham, managed by a former member of Mourinho's Chelsea staff in Andre Villas-Boas, are another title rival.

"They have, in my opinion, a fantastic squad," Mourinho added. "Players that everyone wants. Last year we (Real Madrid) went for (Luka) Modric and this year they are coming for (Gareth) Bale.

"Everyone knows that at Tottenham a player is always expensive, if not other teams would be going for other players that they have. They can win the title, they are in my top six."

Liverpool, managed by another Mourinho protege in Brendan Rodgers, and Manchester United are other title rivals.

Manchester City, who impressed with a 4-0 win over Newcastle in Manuel Pellegrini's first game in charge, are another.

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"They played fantastically (against Newcastle) and their squad is amazing," Mourinho said.

"They bought fantastic players, they have a fantastic squad and they look very, very, very good. At this moment, one team (Arsenal) is behind the other five but that's not important.

"For the first two or three months, that is not important, and I still consider every one of the other teams important and strong teams."

An early title bout comes next Monday at Old Trafford when Chelsea, who are still targeting Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, take on the defending champions.

Mourinho would not be drawn on whether he expects Rooney to play.

"I have no idea," Mourinho said.

"If you are speaking about Wayne, it's his decision, it's David's decision, it's their decision. It's not my decision."

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