Jose Mourinho insists Premier League table-toppers Arsenal will be easily overhauled and believes Manchester City are the biggest threat to Chelsea winning the title.
Mourinho will begin the task of eating into Arsene Wenger’s four-point lead at Sunderland on Wednesday night.
In a dig which is sure to rile Wenger, Mourinho showed no concern for Arsenal’s advantage, revealing he is an admirer of City’s ‘unique squad’ and saying it gives them ‘more responsibilities’ to win the league.
He explained: ‘City don’t have old players, they don’t have varying players. You see all of them, players with big maturity, players with big experience.
‘Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, even Stevan Jovetic, these are the four strikers. And I say “even Jovetic” because he’s injured. If he’s not, I put him in the same level where they are.
‘You go to other positions; you see Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, nobody more than 30, nobody below 23. The squad is absolutely amazing.
‘They have solutions and solutions and solutions. So if you ask me which team I think is the team with more ammunition I have to try to be honest. I have to apologise to the others in case they are not happy with what I say, but my opinion is City are the team with more ammunition.’
Mourinho believes the title race will be clearer at the end of December but does not see a challenge in closing down four points on Arsenal.
Speaking about the Gunners’ lead, he said: ‘Manchester United are nine points behind Arsenal. It’s a gap. Nine points is a gap. Tottenham 10. That’s a gap. It’s not a gap for us. For us, it’s something that, in two matches, is over.’
Chelsea face Sunderland, Stoke and Crystal Palace — all struggling this season — in the first half of the month, but have a tricky spell of games against Arsenal, Swansea and Liverpool around Christmas.
Mourinho believes City are set to move up a gear.
‘There’s a lot to play for in December,’ he added. ‘At the beginning of January we can have a look and say if all six clubs are with short distances at the top, or if someone has opened up a real gap.’
Of all the fixtures Gus Poyet was looking forward to as Sunderland manager, Chelsea and Spurs, where he played, were top of the list. He now faces both at the Stadium of Light in the next four days.
Poyet was 29 when he was persuaded to leave Spain for Stamford Bridge and he said: ‘If I was without a job and living in London I would be going to watch Chelsea every weekend. There is no doubt I would be there because I am a fan. I will always love the club.’
Poyet made more than 100 starts for Chelsea before the Roman Abramovich/Mourinho era. He fondly remembers his time at the Bridge and the difficult choice he had to make when he was asked to quit Real Zaragoza.
Poyet said: ‘I played against them two years earlier in the Cup-Winners’ Cup before we played Arsenal in the final so I knew them a bit. They offered me the chance to go. It was the biggest decision of my career to come to England.
‘I was 29 and it was not easy. It was a change of life for me and my family. It was a good decision, probably my best. It was still an old-fashioned family club so we knew everybody. Then you go to another level and things change.’
If Poyet can take inspiration from anywhere, then perhaps it is from his first visit to Wearside as a Chelsea player when they lost 4-1 to Peter Reid’s side in 1999.
Source : Daily mail