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Chelsea Keep On Whining

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 at 12:57 by Matt Freeman

Jose Mourinho, the much-publicised manager of Chelsea, has finally lost his rag with his underperforming players with a public broadside aimed at several of them.

Andriy Shevchenko, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Solomon Kalou have all been described as “being unable to perform at a high level”. Given that the combined cost of those three players was around £60m, it does rather say something about Chelsea’s transfer policy. One could, perhaps, suggest that buying a thirty-year-old Ukranian for £30m was, for example, not the best idea. Or even that spending £21m on a young English player and then leaving him in the reserves for eighteen months did look rather silly.

But this is Mourinho, the “Special One”. With his team seven points behind Manchester United in the title race, the idea that faltering performances, defensive problems, a boring playing style and mixed European success would be in any way his fault is inconceivable. No, it’s those pesky players. Clearly being paid £100,000 a week is not enough to make sure they play to their best. Something must be done.

Chelsea play Aston Villa tonight, hoping to make up some ground on Man Utd. With problems across the pitch, Mourinho is going to have to be very careful in his selection if he is not to alienate his players further.

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