Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho spoke to the press ahead of his side’s derby match against Arsenal tomorrow. He conceded that midfielder Willian is out due to an injury and Oscar, Pedro could be doubtful starters for the match. Here are the excerpts:
On his team for tomorrow’s game: I select every player for the squad because we have doubts. Tomorrow I don’t want to be in a situation where during the warm-up somebody doesn’t have the best feelings, and we have lots of players in this situation. Willian is not even an option. Pedro, Falcao and Oscar – let’s see what happens. They are not definitely ruled out but let’s see.
On Chelsea vs Arsenal and his record against the opposition: I want to isolate the match from every context. Our fantastic record against Arsenal doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter they haven’t beaten Chelsea for seven matches in the Premier League. It doesn’t matter they beat us in the Community Shield. It’s just Chelsea against Arsenal. It’s a match we want to win. If it’s a pre-season friendly match it’s the same, I want to win. If we are looking at the table at the moment and we see where we are, and we know the distance we are from the top of the league, I don’t think that helps us. Playing in different competitions is helping us because at the moment we are doing that. It’s easier to forget one competition and focus on one match, and the match is Arsenal. One match. Now it’s Arsenal. Just that, nothing more.
On Eden Hazard: Eden is still the penalty taker. He is the best player in England. As I was saying the other day it’s not because Rooney doesn’t score goals for three weeks that he is not a fantastic player. Eden is the best player playing in this country. It’s not because of a bad performance or a penalty missed or not scoring goals for three or four weeks that he is not the best player.
On Eden Hazard being the Penalty Taker in spite of missing one last week: He is the best and the best will be the best again. I don’t know if it will be tomorrow or next week but in one of these days he will be man of the match. He is the best penalty taker in this country, too. If he is the best, when the ball is on the spot, he is my first option. If he decides not to go, he doesn’t go, but my first option is always him. We shouldn’t worry too much about it because you know in the Premier League he doesn’t have many chances to take penalties.
On Petr Cech: Petr Cech is an opponent until the end of the game. After that, if he wants to come to CFC dressing room, the door is open.