Jose Mourinho calls for Ibrahimovic mentality from Chelsea players
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has challenged his squad to handle the pressure of fighting for the Premier League title by emulating Didier Drogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The former Real Madrid manager wants to see his current Chelsea squad develop a title-winning mentality.
Although, why a squad containing John Terry (3 league titles) Frank Lampard (3 league titles), Petr Cech (3 league titles), Ashley Cole (3 league titles), Fernando Torres (World and European Championship winner) etc. etc. should need to be reminded of the qualities required to win major titles, is anyone’s business.
But, wherever he has managed, Mourinho has always fostered team spirit by casting his players as underdogs. Even when managing Real Madrid, the self-proclaimed biggest club in the world, or Porto, the biggest club in his native Portugal, or inheriting the Inter job on the back of 4 consecutive league titles, or even Chelsea, where the billions of Roman Abramovich saw them able to outbid any club for any player.
“I like to put pressure on them, yes, but you have to analyze the players you’re working with,” he said.
“I gave Didier as an example. When I put real pressure on him, the animal was always coming out. Ibrahimovic at Inter – exactly the same. When I put real pressure on him, I knew that the answer was coming. It depends on the players’ profiles. Some react in a very good way. Some don’t.
“I have players who have told me not to criticize them in front of the other guys because, ‘It’s not good for my self esteem’. I’ve had everything.”
The Chelsea boss also wants his players to regard the challenge of a title fight as a positive.
“One of the things is to make the pressure of fighting for the title to be something natural, something that players accept in a positive way, not in a negative way,” he said.
“We have here some people who won the title before, but they’ve not won it for quite a long time. When you don’t do that for quite a long time, you forget it.”
Even though Frank Lampard is getting on a bit, surely even he can remember back to 2010 when Chelsea last won the Premier League.