In the week when he starts working with the players once again, Jose Mourinho is also on the cover of the latest edition of Chelsea magazine, out now in printed and digital formats.
The returning manager can be found inside too in a major interview, with the subject of matches at Stamford Bridge one of the topics covered.
Mourinho’s long, unbeaten record in league matches played at home, which began before his initial move to Chelsea in 2004 and continued on during his stay at Inter Milan before ending in Spain, is the stuff of football legend, and he tells Chelsea how crowds such at the one at Bridge can make life easier for a manager seeking victory in a club’s own stadium.
‘I know in my record at Chelsea – also at Inter and Madrid – that I made many decisions that helped my teams with this record, but you feel more comfortable with risky decisions when you have that empathy,’ Mourinho says.
‘If I gamble, as you sometimes call it in England, with a very risky decision, it can go the wrong way.
‘How many times did I play here with three defenders? I remember against West Ham [in April 2006], we were losing 1-0 and we were playing with 10 men after Maniche got a red card early in the game. I still gambled because I wanted to win with 10 men – and we did win, 4-1.
‘It can go the wrong way. Maybe one day you are losing 1-0 and you end up losing 4-0, but you are not afraid to make decisions again if people accept that you are doing these things for the right reasons.
‘The owner knows the way I think, so do the fans, and this is all about empathy. We know that three years without a defeat at home in the league is almost impossible to achieve, but we have to have the natural tendency that, at home, we are very strong.’
Mourinho also explains in the August edition how important senior players are in maintaining the right mentality at a club, and names a past player as a special example. He also says how he would like to be viewed on his return to Chelsea and what he is aiming for in the future, and he explains his choice of clubs in the six years between his leaving and coming back to Stamford Bridge.
‘I learned a lot with these experiences,’ Mourinho adds. ‘Different players, different personalities, different cultures, different media, different structures in the club, but I think you still have to learn and improve every day.’
Skipper salutes owner
Also in the latest edition of Chelsea, John Terry helps celebrate this month’s 10th anniversary of Roman Abramovich buying the club by looking back at the decade from the captain’s point of view.
A key figure throughout that time, Terry recalls the early months after the takeover, the impact made by the owner, and what has sustained it. He also eyes targets ahead and speaks about one particular moment especially that summed up all that was good about the last 10 years.
In another feature Chelsea reviews the Abramovich era in detail with words, pictures and statistics.
Keeper in touch
A popular player who was part of the squad back in 2003 is the subject of this month’s ‘The Boys are back in Town’ feature. It is Carlo Cudicini’s turn to be the former Blue reacquainted with the magazine and the goalkeeper, who now plays for LA Galaxy, answers questions on his rise at Chelsea, losing his place to Petr Cech, players becoming coaches and he discusses settling in to life in California.
Elsewhere in August’s Chelsea…
John Mikel Obi is the subject of ‘Football Men’, where he lists and talks about those who have been most influential in his career. The 2005 League Cup triumph over Liverpool at Cardiff falls under the microscope in ‘The Final Countdown’, and Academy manager Neil Bath reviews his department’s work over the past 10 years.
Lord Coe continues his monthly column and there is plenty more in the pages as well.
August’s Chelsea is available now priced at £3.25, from the Chelsea Megastore and all good newsagents.
It is also available for Android and iOS devices by clicking on digital version of Chelsea magazine.