Jose Mourinho has been speaking about the unpredictable nature of this season’s Barclays Premier League ahead of today’s game against Manchester City.
The Blues go into the game unbeaten in seven and having won four consecutive matches, the last of which coming with a 3-0 Champions League victory against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.
Our 1-0 reverse at Everton last month remains our only defeat in the Premier League thus far, and with today’s opponents having already lost twice – at Cardiff City and Aston Villa – the Portuguese believes there is no such thing as an easy game.
‘Everybody knows they (Manchester City) lost a couple of games that normally they wouldn’t, but that’s football,’ he said. ‘We also lost against Everton, United lost against West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham lost against West Ham. Arsenal lost at home to Aston Villa so everybody’s losing matches, some of them unexpected.
‘Everybody’s making it tougher; ourselves, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. City weren’t just champions two years ago, they are a squad which is getting better and better and better with huge investment.
‘This season, I think we can improve in relation to last season because last season Chelsea, in November and December, were completely far away from the title.
‘Tottenham have had fantastic investment, Arsenal are the leaders now, Liverpool are playing one match a week which is a great advantage because it’s one thing to play four competitions and another to play in two. The situation this season is hard.’
Having taking over from Roberto Mancini at Eastlands in the summer, it’s been a mixed start to the Manuel Pellegrini reign, but they remain in a strong position, and while the two surprise defeats may have raised question marks about the consistency of his side, their 4-1 win over Manchester United was heralded in many quarters as the standout performance of the campaign thus far.
Having won away from home for the first time in the Premier League last weekend at Upton Park, they, like ourselves, approach the game in good form.
‘They just won two matches away from home, against (CSKA) Moscow and West Ham, they are not easy to win and they won them,’ said Mourinho.
‘They have two very good teams, one playing and one in the stands. They have a fantastic squad and fantastic players so they are a good team, a really good team.’
The period between now and Christmas is as busy as it is important, with a host of matches being played across three different competitions, but the manager is simply focusing on one game at a time.
‘I’m not looking to November or December, I’m looking to tomorrow, and tomorrow is still October,’ the Blues boss explained. ‘After that we will see what’s happening and we will work hard as always.
‘We have matches to play, lots of matches, I’ve just finished our programme for November and it’s fantastic. We have six matches plus the Capital One Cup match at the end of October, which makes seven, plus two European matches which makes nine.
‘Nine matches in a month, for sure we can’t win nine, maybe we draw, maybe we lose, but we must keep the balance, the same way we kept the balance when we lost against Basel. It was not the end of the world because we knew we could change the situation and I think experience helps.’
With so little to choose between the teams at the top of the table currently, Mourinho believes the destination of the title come next May could hinge on a wide range of factors.
‘Everything and everybody,’ he said. ‘The medical department that recovers a player one week in advance, the board that gives great support and great stability, the supporters that travel away and support the team, the supporters that at home are very strong in the way they support, the manager that is more or less talented to help the team in some difficult moments and a little bit of luck because that plays a part.’