Mourinho threatens to drop his first-team regulars if they fail to challenge


Jose Mourinho has warned he will drop his first-team regulars and “go just with the kids” if Chelsea reach a point where they cannot challenge for silverware, saying: “I am ruthless.”

Chelsea have made a dismal start to the defence of their Premier League title, winning just two of their opening seven games, and Mourinho has already relegated captain John Terry to a bench role.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League game at his former club Porto, Mourinho said he would have no qualms about replacing all of his older players with youth prospects in any competition that they cannot win.

“If the season goes in one direction, that it becomes closed and we can’t win [trophies], I will go just with the kids,” he said. “It makes no sense, when you have nothing to win, to play the older players.
“I’ll play the players we’re waiting for instead. I can arrive in a moment where I will look to the kids and say, ‘Let’s go. Non-stop.’ I am ruthless.

“But at the moment everything is open. It’s difficult to win the Premier League, but possible. It’s difficult to win the Champions League, but possible. It’s difficult to win the [domestic] cups, but possible.”



On Saturday, Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw at Newcastle, meaning Mourinho is still yet to win a league game at St James’ Park.
The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss said he did not want his Chelsea side to “become a Newcastle” — only performing against certain opponents — and must instead focus on developing the kind of winning mentality that would ensure they win trophies every season.

“I’m looking for consistency,” he said. “If not, we become a Newcastle. Everyone knows when Newcastle play Chelsea they play amazingly well but when they play other teams, they don’t play so well.

“This happens with most teams whose objective is to stay between eighth and 16th in the league. They win today, draw tomorrow. But when you want to be a big team and want to win, you have to be consistent in your attitude.

“There are two sorts of champions. There are champions who win something — and there are lots of them — but there are the other champions who win two, three, four, five, 10 or more titles.

“In this club, we have 25 champions from last year, but serial champions in this squad, how many? Terry, [John Obi] Mikel, [Branislav] Ivanovic are serial champions. Almost every season they have something in the pocket, but how many more do we have? That’s the point.

“Of course it’s very difficult to win every season, especially in the Premier League, but you can be a serial champion in your approach and attitude.

“If, this season, we finish second or third, but we fight every minute of every game and [at the end] someone has two more points, then we don’t go from serial champions to losers.

“If you lose the Champions League final to Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich, you are not a loser.

“Mentally, I am a serial champion. I can be five or 10 years without a title, but I will still be a serial champion in my attitude.

“Nobody understood it, but when the Arsenal fans were singing against Chelsea, I was tapping my arm. I was saying ‘Look to the shirts.’ They have the Premier League badge on the shirts, because they’re champions.

“But one thing is to be champion once, another is this mentality.”
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