Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho believe that Chelsea is still the team to watch at the Premier League. Mourinho said that his former club remained the heavy favourite despite struggling in some areas, the ongoing Diego Costa mess and their season-opening 3-2 home loss.
Mourinho said that the Antonio Conte’s ward is still very much on the race. Conte’s achievements were all impressive given the last campaign’s appalling title defence brought Mourinho’s second spell at the Stamford Bridge came to an abrupt halt.
However things seemed to have gone wrong at the beginning of Conte’s second season, with Costa still on Chelsea’s books, the team looking inconsistent in places and the opening loss to Burnley.
Chelsea is heading to Wembley to face Tottenham on Sunday. Mourinho whose team recently defeated West Ham 4-0 says, Chelsea is still the team to beat.
In an interview, Mourinho said “For me the favourite is the champion – always, because for some reason was the champion.
“It doesn’t mean you are going to win it but I think it is the stamp that you have when you are champion, it is that the next season you are the favourite.”
The topic of Chelsea came about after Mourinho shrugged aside the suggestion that his team now is in a more stable position as compared to other teams. He added that United is not the “dream team” after they thrashed West Ham. The Portuguese tactician further said that Manchester United’s relative stability does not automatically mean they have a great advantage.
“No, if they have problems the problems are going to finish in a couple of weeks because in a couple of weeks the market is closed and they don’t have problems anymore.
“If they have – and I don’t know if they have – in a couple of weeks the problems are over.
“They have very good teams, very good players and I don’t see any reason for them not to be fighting for the title. When people say, for example, Chelsea lost an important midfield player, you know if you lose one but you buy (Tiemoue) Bakayoko and (Danny) Drinkwater for example, what’s the problem?”
He added, “The problem is when you sell and you do not buy. But when you sell and you keep buying, what is the problem?”
“You are probably even stronger, so I think every top team in the Premier League is strong enough, with potential is strong enough with the financial situation to be fighting for everything.
“And when everybody is also in Europe – five in the Champions League and then two in the Europa League – you have the top seven teams playing for everything and all of them are strong.”
Drinkwater is still with Leicester but talks about him going to Stamford Bridge seemed to have boiled over the recent weeks. Such rumours is no longer uncommon as the transfer window comes to a close and players like Anthony Martial continue to make the news of him moving, this is despite scoring a goal and assisting another as a sub against West Ham.
The French international who found chances hard to come by last season is rumoured to go to Tottenham. Mourinho who was frustrated with Martial last season said the Frenchman has changed. He further said that he has faith in Martial as the United’s boss is set to face without a pure winger that he wants.