Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss jokes about Arsenal & Man City
Champions Chelsea have not been given the respect they deserve, according to manager Jose Mourinho, who used the club's end-of-season awards to cheekily poke fun at some title rivals.
Mourinho, 52, is not averse to fanning flames when it comes to mind games, but we have never seen him use computer graphics to add a splash of humour to his impeccably delivered words. Until now.
He began his witty speech: "Last year we were third, we were not happy but we respected the winners in spite of us beating them twice. They deserved to be champions. In spite of us beating the second position team twice, we also said they deserved to be there."
And so began what Mourinho - named Premier League Manager of the Year on Tuesday - called a "fiction story". What could he and his graphics have been getting at?
The red team - possession wins nothing
What happened on screen: Red shirts appear, goal posts disappear from either end of the pitch and the team passes the ball between players constantly with nothing to attack or defend.
What Mourinho said: "There is one team that would like to play without goals. That team plays really well, the quality of the ball possession is really beautiful but no goals. They asked the international board of Fifa to play like this but were told it was not possible, that the bigger possession of the ball does not win matches."
What might he be getting at? Mourinho won a title at Real Madrid while in fierce competition with a Barcelona side who dominated possession of the ball, even against their great rivals. His desire for results over intricate but ineffectual play is obvious and his side's 1-0 win over Manchester United in April, where the Blues had just 30% of the ball, is perhaps an example of what he meant.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said his side were "the dominant team" on the pitch but Mourinho only cares for dominance of the league table.
The sky blue team - one goal won't cut it
What happened on screen: A team dressed in sky blue pass and score at will but the goal they are defending vanishes into thin air. Cue widespread laughter in the room.
What Mourinho said: "The team were less radical and they asked to play only with one goal. They were fantastic, scored a lot of goals, the goals came from every position but they never conceded goals because there was no goal. Again the international board told them you can't be champions because football is with two goals."
|Manchester City scored the most goals in the Premier League but they conceded the most in the top four|
What might he be getting at? Mourinho congratulated Manchester City when they signed striker Wilfried Bony in January and the Premier League runners-up have an abundance of riches with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic as recognised strikers. Manuel Pellegrini's City side outscored Chelsea by 10 goals over 38 games but conceded more than any other side in the Premier League's top four.
Playing without a goal to defend may well have made a tangible difference but Mourinho, who seems to often have confidence in his opinion, is right, you can't play a game with one goal.
The Red and white team - season starts in August
What happened on screen: A team with red shirts and white sleeves pass and score at will and look superb but some text appears on Mourinho's graphic stating "season from January to April".
What Mourinho said: "The third team was almost there. They wanted to play with two goals, scoring some, also conceding some but they were fantastic. They scored really beautiful goals. But they asked the international board to play only between January and April. They were told 'no chance, you have to play between August and May'."
What might he be getting at? Mourinho has been tough on Arsenal in the past, labelling their manager Arsene Wenger a "specialist in failure" last season but if he is indeed talking about them here, it is their contrasting form either side of Christmas which is under the spotlight.
Wenger's side were eighth in the table in mid-November but lost just three times between 1 January and the end of the season to finish third. Gunners fans can draw some comfort as their side was the only one which the self-proclaimed 'Special One' said were "almost there".
The blue team - bus parking champions
What happened on screen: Passing and goals at one end and as an attack mounts at the other, a red bus drives into the goal to deflect shots away.
What Mourinho said: "And finally came another team. They wanted to play with the normal rules. And they know that to win matches they need to score one more goal than the opponent. They did it both ways, scoring a lot, conceding some or scoring one goal and keeping clean sheets. They played from August to May and sometimes they brought the bus.
"I don't think my players have had the respect they deserve after what they did from day one to the last day."
What might he be getting at? Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said after defeat by Chelsea more than a year ago that the Blues had parked the bus. It was a comment that stuck and even in dominating this season, Chelsea have at times been called "boring" by their critics.