Jose Mourinho sees almost no problems with the state of English football right now, but would scrap FA Cup replays if he had the chance.
A draw against Stoke City this afternoon would bring our Premier League fixture away to Manchester City forward two days – it is currently scheduled for Monday 3 February – to accommodate the replay at the Britannia Stadium. It is this possible extra congestion Mourinho believes the game would be better off without.
‘It’s the only thing I would be keen to change related to what we have now in English football,’ said our manager.
‘For me, the congestion period of December and January is untouchable. The fact is that you can have a replay and that replay has to be played in a week where you have other matches, like if we have a replay with Stoke we have to play Man City on Saturday.
‘In this moment I’m making a working plan for my team, and if we get the draw against Stoke, everything I did this week means nothing or is counterproductive.’
Football management is a notoriously tough business, but Mourinho explained he still encourages all his players to try to earn the relevant coaching badges, especially in light of how many former professional stay in the game after retiring.
‘When they are playing they all think they don’t want to be coaches, and when they finish their career and they have a couple of years outside of football, almost all of them realise they want to be,’ said Mourinho.
‘So it is better to do the badges just in case. It’s something I always advise my players to do because they have plenty of time, they are in the game and it’s the easiest moment to do the badges. If later you decide not to be a coach, okay, but if you decide to be then you have the badges.
‘I think being a coach is a fantastic job if you like it, with stability and where you can make a real service to the game.’
John Terry is one of our players working towards attaining his coaching badges with a view to one day perhaps stepping into management. Referring to his skipper specifically, our manager said it was too early to make a judgement if he will be a successful coach or manager one day.
‘John has to think now about playing, it’s what he enjoys more but he is preparing himself for the future because you never know.
‘I know players that have become managers and you think they have no conditions for it, but they do it. And there are others that you feel look like they have conditions to be but they aren’t, so it’s a bit of a box of surprises.
‘What I advise them all to do is to prepare themselves and to live their experiences as a player, but also as a potential future manager. If you think that way, you are a better player during the time you play, and you prepare yourself in case you want to be a manager.’
– Don’t forget to make your prediction for today’s game with the Chelsea score predictor – January’s prize is a shirt signed by the team.
– A clip of Jose Mourinho talking to Chelsea TV about today’s game can be viewed above (subject to registration) with the full interview available now via the channel’s online access.