Premier League - Youth policy means Mourinho may have to wait for titles

Evolution, not revolution, looks like being Jose Mourinho's motto in his second stint as Chelsea manager and the Portuguese knows he may have to wait to reap the tangible benefits of the club's new strategy.

Reuters

Mourinho took an entirely different approach when he picked up the reins at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 2004, splashing out a fortune on ready-made talent such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira.

Chelsea, though, have made a big investment in youth in the last year or two, bringing in players like Eden Hazard, Oscar, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne and the new manager is relishing the prospect of working with the younger players.

"It's a different situation but it's something I want to live," Mourinho told his first news conference since signing a four-year contract. "I haven't changed my nature and I won't accept development without trying to win - ever.

"It's more difficult to keep trying to win and trying to be successful while at the same time developing young players and giving an identity to the team - but it's something I want at this stage of my career.

"Titles I have, money I have, I need challenges. Nothing motivates me more than challenges. It's about changing the club, I think, and the club thinks so too."

Hazard and Oscar were regular starters last season as Chelsea won the Europa League and qualified for the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League.

Striker Lukaku, winger De Bruyne and defender Tomas Kalas spent the season on loan, at West Bromwich Albion, Werder Bremen and Vitesse Arnhem respectively, but Mourinho hinted the trio would be brought straight back into the fold.

"Imagine if you bring back Lukaku, De Bruyne and perhaps Kalas," said the 50-year-old manager. "Bring three guys back, that's zero (spent) because the investment was made before.

"We want to go in this direction. The one or two we may buy are complements because the structure and philosophy is this.

"I'm more than happy to do that and to help these young guys grow up. Not build the team, because the team has a structure to it, but I want to help the team improve."

Mourinho made a typically brash forecast when he joined Chelsea the first time, predicting the London club would win their first top-flight title in 50 years the very next season.

He was true to his promise, and also added a second successive Premier League championship in 2006, but this time he is being more circumspect.

"I don't need anybody to push me to have that ambition," said the former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto boss. "I've enough motivation and self-esteem myself.

"If we don't do it but show an evolution in the first season, show we're moving in the right direction, I think we'll be champions in the second season.

"When you have this profile you can't think the best will come next year. It has to come in two, three, four, five or six years' time."

Mourinho also said Fernando Torres could still have a future at the club despite often flattering to deceive since the Spain striker left Liverpool two-and-a-half years ago for a British record transfer fee of £50 million.

"He is a Chelsea player with a contract and is more than happy to stay and work hard," the manager said. "I think he deserves respect from me, especially, and the club.

"That respect starts by speaking with him face to face after the Confederations Cup (in Brazil this month) and deciding what is best for all of us. If the best for all of us is for Fernando to stay, let's help him and try and get the best out of him."

Mourinho said he was not in the least bit concerned that Premier League winners Manchester United or 2012 champions Manchester City had not come calling for him following the retirement of Alex Ferguson and the sacking of Roberto Mancini.

"I am where I want to be, I wouldn't change it for anything," he added.

"It's my job, the job I want, a job I was offered and accepted immediately ... the only thing that affects me is these glasses I wear - I need them to read the newspapers," he laughed.

"After that I am happier than ever."

View Comments (2)
Fantasy Premier League