Jose Mourinho has struck some very close working relationships with players of his over the years.
Stars such as Samuel Eto’o and Ricardo Carvalho have played under Mourinho at multiple clubs, and Nemanja Matic did so also in joining Manchester United in the summer from Chelsea. Despite winning the Premier League with Chelsea last season under Antonio Conte, Matic opted to rejoin the ‘Special One’ at Old Trafford.
Conte has had some words for his predecessor following comments Mourinho last night made regarding some managers who complained about being besieged by injuries.
“A lot of time Mourinho has to see what happens at Chelsea,” Conte said.
“A lot of time, also last season. I think he has to think about his team and stop… to look at himself, not the others.”
Matic, now 29-years-old, has defended Mourinho, terming him the ‘best coach’ he’s worked with, while admitting that the notoriously difficult Portuguese can be just that.
“Mourinho is a brand, and the best coach I’ve ever worked with,” Matic told Air Serbia’s in-flight magazine Elevate via Manchester Evening News.
“Sometimes it isn’t easy to work with him, because he always demands more. Even when you play the best match in your career, he considers that you can play better in the next match. I cooperated excellently with him at Chelsea, and the fact that Mourinho is the coach at Manchester was the decisive factor in my choosing my new environment.”
The Serbian even vouched for his boss in a personal capacity.
“Privately he’s completely different from the way he is perceived by the general public. This is a man who possesses all human virtues. He’s not at all cold or conceited, as he is presented in the media.”
The two teams are due to clash at Stamford Bridge on November 5, as the mind games between both managers have already begun.