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19th Dec 2017

John Terry explains how Jose Mourinho transformed Chelsea into title winners

Mourinho set high standards and his players met them

Reuben Pinder

The Special One, indeed.

Jose Mourinho is not universally loved by football fans, or his former players, but most who have played under his management express some form of admiration for his methods.

When he took over at Chelsea in 2004, they had just finished second under the ‘Tinkerman’ Claudio Ranieri. Not bad, but the club needed someone to convert them from occasionally challengers into winners. The team had been assembled following massive investment from Roman Abramovich, and needed time to gel, as well as a coach who knew how to handle a squad of egos.

That’s when Mourinho took over. Chelsea became the most formidable side in the country, winning the league with a record 95 points, and losing just once. Speaking on Monday Night Football last night, John Terry explained how Mourinho went about that transformation:

“He was the first one to come in and revolutionise things at Chelsea,” the former England captain said.

“He brought three young kids in as ball-boys and every time the ball went out of play, another one came back in instantly. If there was a bad pass or a bad role from one of his staff, he went berserk and it was embarrassing for them. His standards were so high. From the players, his medical team, he was on everything. His attention to detail was incredible and he changed the way I thought about football.

“Mentally and psychologically, he had us from day one. We bought in to whatever he was going to deliver that day and he was the same when he came back. Having his presence there was enough. I would give everything for him. I would leave that pitch in a coffin for him and every player felt the same.”

Very few managers can command the respect of a squad like Mourinho can, and listening to his former club captain it’s not hard to understand why. Mourinho set high standards and his players met them.

Everywhere he has coached, most of his players have reacted in a similar way, barring a few who simply didn’t see eye to eye with the Portuguese; an inevitability when you demand such intensity and dedication from a squad, but his record speaks for itself.