Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho praised his players after defeating Tottenham Hotspurs 4-0 at Stamford Bridge insisting that they were ethical in the approach to the game.
The Portuguese praised his Eden Hazard for not playing for a penalty indicating that other players often attack the goal-keeper looking for a penalty.
“We had a big opportunity in the second minute of the game, when other players with other shirts would go for a penalty and a red card for the keeper. Hazard doesn’t do that. He tries to go away from the keeper and he misses from a difficult angle.”
“But other players in this league, in that situation, they attack the keeper. I did not see a video of Eto’o and the penalty but I want to.”
“But you know the kings of the penalties, you know where they are – and they’re not here.”
Mourinho defended the controversial penalty that was awarded to Chelsea when Eto’o was fouled in the box by Kaboul. However the manager was quick to point out that his players were not like others who tried to stimulate the referee into awarding them penalties.
It has been interpreted that the phrase ‘king of penalties’ used by Mourinho was an indirect jab at Liverpool’s Suarez who has developed a reputation of going down easily in his bid to earn penalties. The Uruguayan striker has been notorious for his play-acting, so much so that critics believe that even deserving fouls are not awarded in his favour due to his reputation.
Jose Mourinho also heaped praises on his ‘ageing’ striker Samuel Eto’o, calling him a ‘fox’ while praising the Cameroon international for his intelligent runs. Mourinho was left embarrassed when his private comments on Eto’o and his age were leaked by the media. But the striker was quick to dismiss all allegations of him running out of steam after putting forward a brilliant performance against Tottenham Hotspurs. He played to the galleries after performing the ‘walking stick’ celebration after his first goal in an attempt to silence all his critics.
The manager was quick to point out that the first goal cannot be contributed only to Vertonghen’s mistake as Eto’o had the presence of mind to capitalise on the situation.
“In the second half, Eto’o was brilliant. You can speak about Vertonghen’s mistake but it was only Vertonghen’s mistake because Eto’o is there. If Eto’o is not there, if Eto’o doesn’t read the situation the defender or the goalkeeper will get the ball.”
Mourinho however hoped that Eto’o will improve his away-form insisting that the striker was making up for his lack of speed with his intelligent runs.
“Hopefully he can start scoring away too. He had some good matches away. At West Ham he played very well. He’s had good matches. The fact he scored more at home is down to his qualities.”
“He’s not 20 years old super-fast player like he was 10 years ago, so he needs to be close to the goal, he needs his feet in the box and he’s very intelligent in the way he moves.”
“Remember the goals he’s scored here. He created the goal against Cardiff when the goalkeeper dropped the ball, he scored a goal against WBA when Liam Ridgewell controlled the ball and he came from behind. Then on Saturday he reads Vertonghen’s mistake. He’s a fox. They are fox goals.”
It will be interesting to see how Chelsea’s campaign shapes up in the coming months as the season edges towards its climax. Jose Mourinho has not hid his disappointment with his strikers and will be hoping that Eto’o and Torres can start scoring goals regularly. Chelsea is scoring nearly at a rate of 2 goals per game in the English Premier League and will have to increase its efficiency in front of the goal with only 9 matches left in the campaign.