After four matches without a win and facing criticism following a loss to FC Basel in the Champions League, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Friday he is changing the way his team plays and dismissed talk of a crisis at Stamford Bridge.
The expectation surrounding Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea has not yet been matched by results, with Chelsea hosting Fulham on Saturday looking for its first win since Aug. 21.
But, according to Mourinho, this is only a minor setback in the greater scheme of things. In Chelsea’s most recent Premier League game last Saturday, Mourinho also tasted defeat when they lost 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park.
”I don’t like the way Chelsea were playing in the last couple of years,” Mourinho said. ”The club doesn’t like it. We want to change. We have the players with the profile to change. We want to play a different style.”
Mourinho: ”Crisis of what? Syria? For me, no crisis, for me two bad results. But the first thing I have to say is we’ve lost nothing and I’m not worried. We haven’t finished third in our Champions League group and been relegated to the Europa League. And we didn’t finish third in the Premier League. I know the steps I have to take."
Chelsea’s surprising defeat to Basel followed losses to Everton and against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup final – on penalties – and a draw at Manchester United. In his first spell as manager from 2004 to 2007, Mourinho won five trophies with Chelsea including two Premier League titles and an FA Cup but the Portugese insists his past success counts for nothing now.
”The past is history, even my past,” he said. ”I always said I’m here like I’ve just arrived. I don’t want to be protected because of what I did here in the past. It matters absolutely nothing.”
Mourinho’s first Chelsea team was known more for its resilience and physical prowess than its flair or fluency and the head coach has come under criticism this season for leaving out Juan Mata, who was the most creative player last season.
Chelsea is currently sixth in the Premier League, winning two of its first four games.
”It’s not the way you start, it’s the way you finish. You want to start good, go good and finish good. That’s the perfect picture,” Mourinho said. ”But between starting bad and finishing well, or starting well and finishing bad, I prefer to start bad and finish well.”