As we prepare for our final game of the tour, the manager and one of his midfielders have been discussing that area of the field.
In three years at the club, Ramires has played under Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez, and is looking forward to the next chapter of his Chelsea story under Jose Mourinho.
Predominantly a central midfielder, the Brazilian has also operated wide on the right but with added competition in both areas following the arrivals of Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel, he will be happy to play wherever he is picked.
‘I am here to help in any position they need me to be, I am there to support the team,’ Ramires said. ‘I have big expectations for Mourinho and I hope he will stay for a long time at Chelsea. I am excited to play for him.
‘There are big titles [to play for] and I think with the new trainer we have right now, and with hard work, Chelsea will get there.
‘I want to win all the titles. They are all as important as the others, and I like to think winning all of them would be possible. The Premier League would demonstrate the strength of the team over the whole season.’
Frank Lampard, a mainstay of the side during Mourinho’s first spell at the club, will himself be keen for as much action in the centre of the field as possible, but the manager admits that at 35, the England man will have to be managed carefully.
Between 2004 and 2007, Lampard scored 60 goals in 170 games for Mourinho, and the manager still sees the same qualities in the vice-captain.
‘The role doesn’t have to change,’ said Mourinho. ‘What has to change is the way we analyse competition. Before we didn’t analyse, before it was, “Every match, he plays”. Sometimes I wanted to give him a rest in a Carling Cup match and he’d say, “If you give me a rest, in the next match I will not be the same because I have to play every three days”.
‘We have just to make some choices. I believe he is the same player and the only difference is he is 35. The time needed to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 25 as a man of 35.I cannot coach Lampard at 35 the same way I coached Lampard at 27.
‘He can’t play 60 matches like he did before, but the quality of the player and what he represents for the way I like to play football is exactly the same,’ continued the Portuguese.
‘He’s intelligent, he’s open and he has a very good relationship with me. He knows what I did with Claude Makelele here in the last two years of Makelele. He knows I know how to do it with players of his age because, at the end of the day, we have to be just clever.’
We play our final game of our Asia tour today, with coverage live on Chelsea TV from 2.15pm UK time.