Jose Mourinho’s previous visits to Anfield would offer some of the juiciest parts of any future autobiography, but the Portuguese clearly has no willingness to do such a book just yet.
In fact, he was rather dismissive when the latest publishing revelations were put to him ahead of his first match in Liverpool since last season’s dramatic title decider.
Mourinho was asked about Luis Suarez’s claims, in his new book ‘Crossing The Line’, that one Chelsea player was unhappy about going along with the manager’s time-wasting tactics in that climactic 2-0 away win.
“Another book?” Mourinho smiled, referencing how he’d also recently been mentioned in the releases by Roy Keane and Jorge Valdano.
“Did you read the book? I don’t. At 51, I might have enough story to write one. When you are 25? You write a book about when you are a kid? I don’t think I will [do a book]. I have an invitation to do a book, just with 100 pictures and where I just make a little comment on every picture. A memory book, but not a book to tell… shit and to criticise people and to speak negative things about people who belong to my career.”
But, if he won’t offer “negative things”, he did provide a lot of notable passive aggression ahead of his return to Anfield.
Given the dimensions of April’s controversial match and the drama that unfolded, it may well go down in Premier League history, and it certainly seemed to affect the history between Mourinho and his old protege Brendan Rodgers.
The Liverpool manager had bitterly described Chelsea’s approach as “not difficult to coach”.
Although the Portuguese claimed everything is now “okay” between himself and Rodgers, it did seem as if he couldn’t resist a few jibes.
He mentioned how Steven Gerrard’s slip, which let Demba Ba in to score the first goal, cost Liverpool first place: “It gave the title to [Manchester] City, as simple as that.”
He made goading reference to the idea of defending being easy to coach: “Our intention is, when we have the ball, to score goals. When Liverpool have the ball, we have to try and stop them scoring. It’s the ABC of football. Sometimes some people pretend to be clever and say it’s not the ABC of football, but it is.”
He even made reference to the 2005 Champions League semi-final, citing how the Anfield atmosphere can ensure “goals that are not goals, penalties given that are not penalties”. Most conspicuously of all, though, Mourinho made mischievous reference to the amount of money Liverpool spent after Luis Suarez’s departure.
“Obviously when you lose good players you lose something. But they have fantastic funds to invest in a new squad, to improve their squad. They improved it a lot, buying so many players, so many important players, all internationals, so they invested very, very good. Their potential is there.”
Despite that, Mourinho also attempted to load on the pressure.
“I expect a game where Liverpool know that, if they lose, they are 15 points behind. If they are 15 points behind in November, obviously it’s not over but it’s difficult. If they win, nine points behind is different to 15. It’s a very good motivation for them.”
Last season, Chelsea had to sit tight against a sensationally rampant Liverpool leading the way. This season, the worst Rodgers’ suspect defence do could be to step out against an imposing Chelsea attack.
It sets up what could be another drama-filled encounter, even if Mourinho will be unwilling to write about it.
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