There has not been much good news coming out of the Chelsea FC camp in recent weeks, but in a development that a number of the Blues fans would welcome, manager Jose Mourinho has announced that defender Branislav Ivanovic has been cleared to play in this weekend’s match at Stoke City.
The 31-year-old had picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty with Serbia in early October, and has been out of action since then. However, Mourinho confirmed ahead of the match (in which he has a stadium ban) that Ivanovic is fit to take part in the game.
The Portuguese manager also said that on-loan striker Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of the match with a muscle injury, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is still out due to a long-term knee injury.
“Falcao is injured and will be for a few weeks,” Mourinho was quoted saying by ESPN. “And [Thibaut] Courtois is still out. And, er… no more problems. Ivanovic is good. Available.”
Mourinho to be ‘in charge’ in spite of stadium ban
The worst news for Chelsea FC this weekend is probably that of the absence of Mourinho due to a stadium ban imposed on him by the FA. However the self-proclaimed “Special One” claimed that he would be in complete control of all the decisions taken by his coaching staff during the match. He also said that he would take full responsibility for their decisions.
“I will be in charge,” he said. “Every responsibility is my responsibility. My staff are completely free of that extra pressure. That doesn’t belong to their jobs. It’s my responsibility.
“They know what they have to do. I choose the team. I predict, the maximum I can, the different aspects of the game, the different directions the game can follow. I try to prepare them even better than ever. Players and assistants. That’s the only way.”
It would be interesting to see how Chelsea FC’s coaching staff Steve Holland, Rui Faria and Silvino Louro fare without the presence of Mourinho, if something completely unexpected (that even the Special One could not foresee) happens.