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September 19, 2015

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Mourinho laughs off ‘Far West duel’ claims at Chelsea

CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho conjured up American cowboy movies, fictitious fights in the dressing room and a statement of faith in struggling forward Eden Hazard as he prepared for today’s clash with Arsenal.

The two sides meet at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League’s top match of the weekend, with neither having made an ideal start to the season.

Chelsea has taken only four points from five league games, amid speculation of problems in the dressing room and a disagreement between Mourinho and captain John Terry — a claim the manager has strongly denied.

“I don’t have any problem with any one of my players,” Mourinho told reporters at the club’s training ground near Cobham, southwest London.

“Normally when bad results happen, the first thing that comes into your laptops, iPads and pens is to find a dramatic story: ‘Somebody punch somebody in the dressing room,’ ‘The manager doesn’t want to speak with this guy’.

“’Diego Costa fought with John Terry and before they start the fight they brought a translator for them to understand each other in the fight, because Diego cannot speak English and John cannot speak Spanish’... They organize like Far West duels — at this time we are going to fight, bring a translator to help us.”

The reality, according to Mourinho, is much less dramatic. And has much more to do with the effects of poor results. “The other direction you (the media) don’t go is the direction which is real: you lose matches, you are affected, you lose confidence.”

However, despite its recent troubles, Chelsea will have been lifted by its 4-0 victory on Wednesday against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League, despite Hazard missing an early penalty.

Hazard, who helped Chelsea win the Premier League last season, certainly has the public backing of his coach as the gifted Belgium playmaker tries to rediscover his form. “He’s the best player in England,” Mourinho said. “He is the best and he will be the best again.”

While Chelsea has failed to click, Arsenal clearly has a few problems of its own.

Despite having a solid 10 points on the board, Arsene Wenger’s side has rarely looked really convincing this season and it slumped to a 1-2 defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Adding further spice to today’s game is the fact that the two managers clearly don’t get along. Wenger brushed off the media scrutiny of his relationship with Mourinho, saying: “No special relationship is my worry. All I worry about is our performance tomorrow.”


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