Stamford Bridge

Next Game

Chelsea v Sunderland

Saturday, 19 April 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

The Liberty Stadium

Last Game

Swansea 0 - 1 Chelsea

Sunday, 13 April 2014, 16:07

Barclays Prem

Clarke hails Jose influence

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has expressed gratitude to former mentor Jose Mourinho ahead of their Premier League meeting on Saturday.

Last Updated: 09/11/13 at 14:13 Post Comment   

Steve Clarke and Jose Mourinho will be in opposing dugouts this Saturday

Steve Clarke and Jose Mourinho will be in opposing dugouts this Saturday

The Baggies travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea this weekend and Clarke admits his time under Mourinho completely transformed him as a coach.

Clarke was promoted to be Mourinho's assistant when the Portuguese manager first joined Chelsea in 2004 and went on to be a part of the coaching team which yielded two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups over the course of three seasons.

However, at the time of Mourinho's arrival, Clarke was in charge of the club's youth system and admits his future remained uncertain.

"I didn't know what to expect when I got a call to meet him," he told The Sun. "I had great doubts about my future.

"When you've got a meeting with a new manager, there are two possibilities - you come out keeping your job, or you are unemployed.

"I really didn't know if he wanted to keep me or get rid of me. Fortunately, I stayed and it's just as well. They were memorable years for me.

"The greatest compliment I can give Jose is to say in the time we worked together I changed completely."

Following his departure from Chelsea in 2008, Clarke went on to become first team coach at West Ham United and Liverpool before taking on the helm at The Hawthorns, but the Scot insists nobody taught him more than Mourinho.

Tactical

"I learned more with him than with all the other coaches put together who I'd worked with," he added.

"There were a lot of differences between Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri, the previous manager, who had more 'Italian' methods - that is, the tactical part of training was separate from the physical part.

"When Jose arrived, the two elements were combined and the players responded well. Mourinho put the ball into all the exercises and the players adored that.

"'Intensity' was the key word for work. He made them understand that all the sessions were important, that each and every exercise was important.

"He brought intensity to the activity of training and even to the club itself. For him, training is serious and totally professional. He's extremely demanding but he's there to help you if you have a problem. You know he'll be on your side."

Clarke admitted he was heavy hearted parting company with Mourinho but insists the pair remain close and whatever the outcome on Saturday, their relationship will stand strong.

"The day I took leave of him was hard," he said. "What is most certain when you start a job as coach or manager is that one day the mission will come to an end.

"But, in the case of Jose, it seems to me his departure from Chelsea happened too soon. Everyone felt that.

"Fortunately, I developed a good relationship with him. We still talk, not every day, but regularly, be it about certain games, certain players or our families.

"That's why I say to Jose that he should continue his good work and I thank him for the help he's given me."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails importance of West Ham win

Arsene Wenger hailed the importance of Arsenal's victory over West Ham as his side came from behind to win 3-1.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property