Photo: ACTION IMAGES
Jose Mourinho has again complained that his team lack a killer instinct in
attack, although Samuel Eto’o did stress on Wednesday night that he had “no
trouble” with his manager after the Portuguese was caught dismissing
the quality of Chelsea’s
Eto’o was dropped from the team that drew 1-1 with Galatasaray but the
build-up to the match had been overshadowed by Mourinho being filmed
privately saying that he had “no striker” and questioning Eto’o’s true age.
There had been claims that Eto’o was furious but, as he left Istanbul, he
said: “I have no trouble with Mourinho”. The manager was also
more measured in his assessment of the team than when he was unaware he was
being filmed by Canal Plus, although his frustration at the lack of goals
was still evident.
Fernando Torres had put Chelsea into an early lead but the chance to put the
tie beyond Galatasaray was eventually wasted. “The first half, an
opportunity missed,” said Mourinho. “The second half, a fair result. In the
first half we were the best team. We had two, three, four situations where,
normally, you have to be effective and score.
“That’s our team. Some other teams have three chances and score three goals.
We have five and score one. This is not a criticism of the strikers, like
sometimes people think. It’s just the profile of the team we have. We create
but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision, the
correct pass, the right movement is something that is not right at the
“We are not a team who kills opponents. We are paying for that in the Premier
league, losing points, and in the Champions
League we might have got a different result. But they all give
everything. They fight for each other, work for each other, have tactical
discipline. I cannot be critical. They got a very acceptable result in a
stadium where it’s difficult to play and difficult to win. I think they did
a good job.
“The performance of the players in a difficult place to play was amazing.”
Mourinho singled out Torres for praise after he scored on his first start for
nearly two months.
“I think Nando is having a very acceptable season,” he said. “He
had two injuries and two injuries in his best moments. The first one, I
remember, was after he scored the winning goal against City and was out for
about a month. After that, he was scoring goals away and scoring at
Southampton, at Hull City, and he had another injury. But in the middle of
that, he was doing quite well and scoring a few important goals for us.
“Today he gave a lot, but obviously the gasoline finished and I had to change
“He was really tired and asked me to make the change, so we lost a bit of
power in attack.”
Mourinho was also dismissive of the idea that Galatasaray’s Didier Drogba
might return to Chelsea as a coach this summer and believes that he has much
more to offer as a player.
“He’s not a coach, he’s a striker,” he said. “To coach strikers, he doesn’t go
for sure. He is a striker, one of the best in the world, so he’s not a
strikers’ coach. That, for sure, is not going to happen. What he’s going to
do with his career I don’t know.
“In the second match? He’s going to have the best reception of his life.
Stamford Bridge will show the love and respect they have for a legend in our
club, and during 90 minutes he wants to win. So if he wants to win, he’s not
our friend for 90 minutes.”
With English clubs having been beaten in the first leg of three Champions
League ties this season, it was Roberto Mancini who spoke up for the quality
of the Premier League. “For me, in England, the Premier League is the best
championship in the world and Chelsea is one of the best teams in the
world,” he said.