Jose Mourinho doesn’t expect his Chelsea side to see out the season unbeaten, but recognises that getting points on the board is more important.
The Blues welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, as they look to stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to 21. So impressive has their start to the season been that they have drawn comparisons with the great Arsenal side of 2003/04, when Arsene Wenger’s side were hailed as The Invincibles after going the entire Premier League programme without losing.
As much as Mourinho would doubtless love Chelsea to match this achievement, he realises this is a tall order in a division which is regarded as one of the most competitive in the world. And besides, the Portuguese coach knows it is more important to get points on the board as they look to break Manchester’s stranglehold of win a first league title since 2010.
“We are not playing for that,” he said of the potential to go the entire season unbeaten. “If you play for that, if that is one objective, maybe you draw so many matches, you don’t take risks to try and win matches. You are happy just to be undefeated. If you get 10 draws, you get 10 points. If you win five and lose five, you make 15 points. We are going to play matches to win. And, sometimes, we will lose. I’d prefer 15 points and lost matches than 10 points and being undefeated.”
The chances of Tottenham becoming the first team to inflict defeat on Chelsea this season don’t look to promising if statistics are taken into account. The club from White Hart Lane haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since the inception of the Premier League, a record which reads eight draws and 14 defeats. Indeed, the last time they collected maximum points at this ground was way back in February 1990, when Gary Lineker – now 54-years-old – was on target in a 2-1 success.
If they are to upset the odds and bring an end to this dismal record, young striker Harry Kane will likely play a key role. The England under-21 international has been in impressive form since breaking into the first team in recent weeks, with two goals in the last four matches, and the 21-year-old is full of confidence that he and his team-mates can leave Mourinho and his team stunned.
“We’re full of confidence,” said Kane ahead of the trip across the capital. “We’re looking to get the result. Obviously Chelsea are going to be trying to do the same, but we’re feeling good. The Chelsea game is not the be-all or end-all, but it would add to the great momentum we have at the moment if we could beat them. That is what we want to do and we will give ourselves the best possible chance.”
Is Mourinho being entirely honest here, or would he privately love to match the record set by his great rival Wenger? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.