Jose Mourinho attempted to avoid any more controversy by boring his way through his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s meeting with Liverpool.
The Portuguese manager had already appealing a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban for suggesting officials were “afraid” to award his side decisions following the October 3 defeat to Southampton, before this week being charged with misconduct after being sent off at West Ham last Saturday.
With many questioning Mourinho’s future at Chelsea as they languish in 15th place after their worst start in Premier League history, the boss chose to say as little as possible ahead of his side’s meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Here are Mourinho’s ‘best’ bits…
Can Chelsea still qualify for the Champions League?
“I cannot promise.”
On the reasons for Chelsea’s poor start:
“If you read the papers you will know the reasons because every day it comes.
“My view is not important because the way you write is clearly the truth so there is no room for discussion. The truth is the truth. I think Chelsea is a big club, is the club that I chose to come to.
“It is the club that I live in a very specific way in the life of this club but with all the respect Liverpool is a big club, Manchester United is a super big club.
“Last season Liverpool win nothing and didn’t qualify for Champions League and they are still a big club and two years ago Manchester United didn’t even qualify for the Champions League, or Europa League and they are still a monster club.”
How he is coping with Chelsea’s current form?
“How do I deal with current situation? Working.”
On Eden Hazard after his costly penalty miss in the shootout defeat at Stoke:
“I think it is not because he missed an important penalty I am going to be critical, he tried everything and had a positive game, tried for two hours, I am pleased with his performance.
“I am happy with his performance against Stoke. I was happy with his performance against Dynamo Kiev. Before that he was on the bench for a couple of matches.
“I was not happy and felt it was the best thing for him but I am happy with his positive reaction to that.”
On the FA misconduct charge:
“I don’t want to talk about that at all.”
And the stadium ban:
“I am not optimistic or pessimistic.”
On to Saturday’s opponents, Liverpool. What does Mourinho make of the move to replace Brendan Rodgers with Klopp?
“They were a good team they are a good team. They had a good manager and have a new very good manager. Everything is the same. He changed some details obviously in their tactical approach to matches but this is the nature of the game especially when you are speaking about two top managers.
When you change a top one to another top one the level is high.
“They know what to do, there is just a difference in the way they think football.”
“I consider him one of the top managers.”
“For Jurgen I am not a close friend because football doesn’t allow that but he is a guy I like a lot.
“We have a good relation and as a manager his work speaks and in spite of the last season I consider him one of the top managers.”
Did he laugh when Klopp described himself as ‘the normal one’?
“Why should I laugh?”
Are there any previous meetings with Liverpool that stand out?
“Every game is a game I like to play, it makes no difference.”
Will Saturday’s meeting be a similar match to the Capital One Cup game last year, when Chelsea edged Liverpool in an close, hard-fought affair?
“You are saying the game was fantastic but after it was not so fantastic so hopefully we don’t have more of the same.
“We are going to try and play the same as we did against them last season.”
What about the threat of fit-again Christian Benteke?
“I don’t speak about Liverpool players.”