Mourinho: I’ll never ’walk away’ from Chelsea

All eyes will be on John Stones when Chelsea face Everton on Saturday

“Let’s be objective,” he said. “I don’t want to leave the club, in any circumstances. And the club doesn’t want me to leave. I’m not going to walk away. The club is not going to sack me. Point. Point.

“Look, when I was here in 2007, I had two things in my mind. Go to Spain [with Real Madrid] and go to Italy [with Inter Milan], just to give you an example. Today, I was in Spain and I was in Italy, I don’t want to go back.

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“I want to stay here. That’s enough. That makes a difference. Mr Abramovich in 2007, in his football life, if you can say that, he knows only two managers, [Claudio] Ranieri and myself. In this moment, he knows, how many, 10? He knows a lot of them. It’s a difference too. So there are differences.”

Roman Abramovich was at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on Friday, still a relatively rare occurrence, and while it is true that the pair did not “collide” when Mourinho left, that was mainly because the Russian billionaire was staying away.

Jose Mourinho accused of goading Roman Abramovich with John Terry substitutionMourinho has spoken about his relationship with Roman Abramovich

After Mourinho departed – sacked or, as he prefers, left by mutual consent – Chelsea had seven managers in just six years before the Portuguese returned in 2013, with the implication being that Abramovich has also grown wiser with experience.

Even so, one of the more curious aspects of Chelsea’s difficult start, and Mourinho’s uncomfortable demeanour, is that they follow the manager signing a new four-year contract last month.

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“I repeat – I stay until Mr Abramovich wants,” Mourinho said. “I had a contract that expires in two years’ time. And he gave me a contract that expires in four years’ time. So it makes a difference.

“If somebody, anyone thinks that I walk, or I leave the job it’s somebody that doesn’t know [me].

Mourinho did not take a holiday during the international break

“Chelsea fans know me for good and for bad and that’s not my profile, to run away from problems, in this case to run away from bad results.” Mourinho did not take a holiday during the international break and, instead, redoubled his work effort to improve the results. “I’m not happy and I’m happy that I’m not happy. The moment I’m happy losing matches then I’ve changed a lot. And I don’t want to change,” he said.

“I’m not happy, but I work harder than ever, I’m optimistic, I trust the players, I repeat, the players trust me, I know. So it’s not such a hard situation because you feel that better results will arrive.

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“We have one problem. We are not getting the results we always expect to get. That’s our problem.”

However Chelsea’s awkward start has been made more difficult by an injury to Thibaut Courtois, who underwent surgery at the Hospital Quiron in Barcelona on Thursday after damaging the meniscus in his right knee in training at Cobham.

Chelsea were waiting for an accurate prognosis from their medical director, Paco Biosca, as to how long the goalkeeper will be out, but it is expected to be at least three months.

Thibaut Courtois is out for at least three months

“I just know he will be out for some time,” Mourinho said. “It’s a big blow but you will not see me speaking again about Thibaut. He’s injured. It’s not easy to have the best goalkeeper in the world injured. But easy to have one of the best goalkeepers in the world to play. [Asmir] Begovic is very, very good. I’m sad for Thibaut and sad for the team, but we have a top goalkeeper and Begovic will be in goal.”

Mourinho refused to be drawn on the latest criticisms by Everton manager Roberto Martínez over Chelsea’s attempts to sign Stones. “What Martínez says for me means nothing and I don’t comment,” Mourinho said.

Is history repeating itself?

2007-2008

The season seemed to start well enough for Jose Mourinho as Chelsea won three and drew one of their opening Premier League fixtures – including a 1-1 result at Anffield. However, the wheels started to come off when they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa and were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers.

The final straw for club owner Roman Abramovich was when they had to come from behind in their opening Champions League fixture to snatch a 1-1 draw at home to Norwegian minnows Rosenborg – Andriy Shevchenko sparing the Blues’ blushes with a second-half equaliser in front of a crowd of just 24,973.

Two days later, with Chelsea lying fifth in the Premier league, Mourinho left the club by mutual consent with three years left on his contract – to be replaced by Avram Grant. His departure was blamed on a deteriorating relationship with Abramovich and the Portuguese’s opposition to the recruitment of Shevchenko and Michael Ballack.

2015-2016

Having lost the Community Shield 1-0 to Arsenal, champions Chelsea have started this Premier League season in stuttering fashion, drawing their opening match 2-2 at home to Swansea and having goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off for a foul on Bafetimbi Gomis. That has been followed by a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City, a 3-2 win at West Brom and a 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace.

Despite recruiting Radamel Falcao and hijacking Manchester United’s bid to sign Pedro, the failure to sign Everton defender John Stones has been a huge blow. Another distraction has been the very public spat between Mourinho and club doctor, Eva Carneiro, whom he berated on the Stamford Bridge touchline when she went on to treat Eden Hazard late in the Swansea game – the manager fearful that the Belgian might be taken off the pitch.