But they get to rest not play… and Wenger is NOT underdog of the pack
- Mourinho points to Liverpool’s lack of European football as dangerous
- Chelsea boss still insists his side are not favourites for the title
- Arsene Wenger has no excuses of a young Arsenal side
- Chelsea aiming for the ‘treble’ over Manchester City in FA Cup clash
Jose Mourinho welcomed Brendan Rodgers to the title dogfight and then heaped pressure on Liverpool by claiming their lack of European football puts them in a ‘privileged position’.
‘I am sure it is a four-horse race now,’ said Mourinho, whose Chelsea side top the table, with Liverpool four points behind in fourth. ‘They have a big advantage because they don’t play in the Champions League.’
After sneaking a win against Fulham on Wednesday night thanks to Steven Gerrard’s last-gasp penalty, Rodgers claimed Liverpool are like a ‘chihuahua that runs in between the horses’ legs’.
Racing away: Jose Mourinho with the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe after becoming the first owner in the UK
Beaming: Mourinho caught up for a chat with Match of the Day host and England legend Gary Lineker
Ready for action: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had words of warning for his title rivals
But Mourinho, who recently suggested Chelsea are like a ‘little horse’ not yet ready to win the title, retorted: ‘If Brendan has a chihuahua it is one that trains a lot and rests a lot. The other dogs, they don’t train a lot because they play a lot and they don’t rest because they play every three days.
‘And when the Barclays Premier League goes to the crucial point, we all will have to play Champions League at the same time.
‘To play, for example, like we are going to do in Istanbul against Galatasaray on the Wednesday, Fulham on the Saturday.
‘Brendan’s chihuahua doesn’t do that. During the week it sleeps, eats and trains a little bit. So I have to say his chihuahua is a privileged one. Next season he will see what it is like to play in two, three, four competitions. This season he has this privilege which gives him a big advantage.’
All smiles: Mourinho pointed to Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side not having Europe to contend with
Leaping to the top: Steven Gerrard jumps for joy after lifting Liverpool into the title race against Fulham
Mourinho, who appointed Rodgers youth-team coach during his first stint at Stamford Bridge, added: ‘If we don’t win it I would prefer Brendan to win it because he is my friend. When I play against my friend I want to win and he wants to win. But if I don’t win, I would like Brendan to do it.’
That cordiality has certainly not been extended to great rival Arsene Wenger in the past. And, true to form, Mourinho did not waste the opportunity to turn the screw on an Arsenal side who have won only one of their last four games and suffered a 5-1 drubbing by Liverpool.
‘Arsenal have spent many, many years working together making these players grow up,’ he said.
‘Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs — they are not kids any more. They were kids but now they are mature players.
Shout it out: But Jose Mourinho says there will be no excuses for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
England expects: Mourinho insists Jack Wilshere (centre), going past Michael Carrick, is not a ‘young kid’
‘The manager, with this group of players, four, five or six years working with these players and then adding fantastic players like Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla or Per Mertesacker, they are a very good team.’
Despite being favourites to win the title, Mourinho continues to play down Chelsea’s chances, sticking to the line that his team, unlike Arsenal, are a work in progress.
He said: ‘If you are talking about the team that looks really solid, the team that defends well but at the same time creates a lot — that is my team.
But when I say we’re not the top candidate everyone thinks, “Here he is again, with what you like to call the mind games”. But it’s just my feeling.
Missing piece: Mourinho pointed to Wenger’s capture of Mesut Ozil as completing Arsenal’s side
Experience: Mourinho also namechecked Per Mertesacker, holding off Robin ven Persie
‘The matches I have lost were matches we should have won. They were the easy ones to win. The match against Everton was so easy to win but we couldn’t score a goal out of I don’t know how many chances. But we conceded and we lost.
‘We went to Newcastle; it was so easy to win. In the first 30 minutes we hit the post, we had chances but we lost the game. We went to Stoke; it was so easy to win. Against West Ham we had 25 shots on goal.
‘We are a team that if we had that last “click”, that click is to put the ball in the net, then I would say to you that we are favourites. Our team is going in a very good direction but at this moment I would not say we are favourites, but we are candidates.’
Done it before: Mourinho celebrates beating Manchester City – who Chelsea face in the FA Cup
Back to winning ways: Alvaro Negredo celebrates for City – who Mourinho calls the best team in the country
Next up for Chelsea is Saturday’s trip to Manchester City in the last 16 of the FA Cup and the chance to beat the side he continues to rate as the best team in the country for the third time this season.
The war of words has been simmering between Mourinho and City boss Manuel Pellegrini in recent weeks, and he said: ‘We have a very difficult draw in the FA Cup. We play the best team in the country in their house.
‘We have beaten them twice but that makes it even more difficult to beat them for a third time. And if people were saying that the last time we did it there was no Fernandinho and no Sergio Aguero, the first time we beat them they were playing.’
Superstar: Eden Hazard, celebrating against Newcastle, has been one of Chelsea’s leading lights
Thorn in the side: Willian (left) uses his pace and directness to go past West Brom’s Claudio Yacob
Mourinho was speaking at the UK launch of the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé at Eastwinter Garden in Canary Wharf, where he became the first to own the car in the country.
Among VIP guests to attend were were BBC football commentator and former footballer Gary Lineker and his son George, F1 presenter, Natalie Pinkham, Boxer Anthony Joshua MBE and Radio 1 DJ Mista Jam and British rapper Example.
As new ‘Jaguar ambassador’ Mourinho will jump the queue for the car as official deliveries begin late in March this year.
Recently the Chelsea manager who claims ‘everything I say and do are mind games’, appears to have an ulterior motive for even the most innocuous of sound bites.
Paint it black: Mourinho will be the first owner of the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe
He noted: ‘Manchester City is a Jaguar, you cannot put an L-plate on a Jaguar’.
But not just plucked that car brand out of the air for his Match of the Day interview with Gary Lineker following Chelsea going top of the table after beating Newcastle.
A Jaguar spokeswoman said: ‘We were very happy about it, but it certainly wasn’t planned in advance.’
Jaguar Land Rover UK managing director Jeremy Hicks said: ‘I am really excited to be officially presenting the new F-TYPE Coupé in the UK for the first time. This sports car is as important to the Jaguar brand as it is spectacular to drive. ‘
Ready for action: The new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe in all its glory… and Jose Mourinho will be driving one
Will it fit in my garage?
Jaguar F-Type R Coupe
Length: 14ft 8 inches
Width: 6ft 4 inches
Height: 4ft 4 inches
Weight: 1.65 tones
Engine: Supercharged 5.0 litre V8 petrol
Gears: Eight-speed quick shift.
Top speed: 186mph (electronically limited)
0-60mph: 4 seconds
Fuel efficiency: 25.5 miles to the gallon.
‘I am sure all our customers will be as excited as our new ambassador José Mourinho at the prospect of driving the new F-TYPE Coupé.”
Jaguar now employs more than 26,000 people in the UK across Jaguar Land Rover.
The F-TYPE Coupé UK debut opened with an exclusive screening of the dramatic new Jaguar ‘Rendezvous’ advert, directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper and starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong.
Having now received more than 11 million views online, the advertisement will hit television screens in the UK for the first time in April.
Jaguar said the new F-TYPE Coupé is ‘the most dynamically capable, performance-focused, production Jaguar ever.’
Top of the range is the F Type R with a 550horse-power 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine which accelerates the car from 0-60mph in 4.0-seconds, and a top speed electronically restricted to 186mph.
F-TYPE S Coupé and F-TYPE Coupé models complete the range are powered respectively by 380 horse-power and 340 horse-power versions of Jaguar’s 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine giving acceleraton from 0-60mph in up to 4.8 and top speeds of up to 171mph.
The cars are priced from £51,235 for the 3.0-litre V6 supercharged F-TYPE Coupé to £85,000 for the F-TYPE R Coupé.
Source : Daily Mail