Heart and Spirit

In England, they call it spirit.  We call it heart.  José MourinhoYou can have all the skill, all the intelligence in the world, but without it, you will crumble.

Arsenal found some yesterday, tying Man City 1-1, both teams missing goal opportunities that could have won it. And yesterday, Chelsea, well, let’s let Mourinho tell it–

We lost against a team who are difficult, but against a team who were better than us in terms of spirit and mentality. That’s the last thing my teams are usually guilty of: normally, they don’t lose because the opponents are stronger in terms of spirit.”

Asked what had cost his side, Mourinho explained: “Mentality, and a little bit of quality. Mentality because the opponents beat us clearly on that: they were strong, aggressive, committed. Every one of them played at the top of their potential and that, in football, is important. And, after that, I think also we missed some qualities. The same qualities we’ve missed in every match we lost except Villa. At Stoke, Newcastle, Everton, Palace and drawing at West Brom … you try to find common points, and you do find them.

“Clearly we have some players because of their profile who find it difficult to perform in some kinds of matches. You have Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and César Azpilicueta who perform in the sun, in the rain, on small pitches, on big pitches, against aggressive teams, against non-aggressive teams, against possession teams, against non-possession teams, and they perform every game from day one to the last day. And you have other players who are fantastic in some matches and disappear in others. You can find easily in these matches something in common. You can find it clearly.”

Asked what quality is required for his side, Mourinho said: “I cannot say in front of the cameras. I can write it on paper.” Offered a notepad afterwards, the Portuguese wrote “balls”.

So, what was Chelsea’s squad yesterday?

  • Petr Cech
  • Branislav Ivanovic
  • Gary Cahill
  • John Terry
  • Cesar Azpilicueta
  • David Luiz
  • Nemanja Matic
  • Frank Lampard
  • Andre Schurrle
  • Fernando Torres
  • Eden Hazard
  • Emboaba Oscar (s 45′)
  • Mohamed Salah (s 56′)
  • Demba Ba (s 70′)

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