Chelsea Win their first Trophy on the season
José Mourinho declared Chelsea’s win in the Capital One Cup final as hugely significant for “a new generation of players”. He paid tribute to those fringe players in his squad who had missed out on selection as his side overcame Tottenham Hotspur, and revealed the suspended Nemanja Matic had conducted the final team talk in the dressing room ahead of kick-off. “My career had gone in a different direction, with two seasons without a trophy, and it looked like I was 20 years without a trophy, even to myself,” he said. “But to have that feeling that two years is a long time, that’s a good problem. For me it’s important to feel I’m still a kid, even at 52 years of age: it’s important that, before the game, I had the same feelings as ahead of my first final all those years ago, and to feel the same happiness after the victory. I know I have a team to build, which is what we’re doing, but it’s difficult for me to live without titles, even with all the work to be stable that we are doing. I need to feed myself with titles. This is important for me and the boys. For the club it’s one more cup, but it’s the first one of a new team. You have Petr Cech, John Terry, Didier Drogba and, after that, everybody belongs to a new generation of players. So, as a team, very important.”
Mourinho also paid tribute to Kurt Zouma, a young centre-half employed in midfield in the absence of Matic who he described as a modern-day “Marcel Desailly”, and thanked Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luís, Oscar, Anders Christensen and even the departed Andre Schürrle, Mohamed Salah and Mark Schwarzer for their contribution in the earlier rounds. Matic, who joined the squad on the pitch at the final whistle, was offered his own opportunity to make an impact. “The boy was sad and he made the speech in the dressing room expressing his pain not to be playing, and asking his team-mates to express the pleasure he couldn’t have to play this final.”
When asked about Liverpool’s win against Manchester City, Mourinho commented: “The league is in the hands of everyone still: we have difficult matches still to play, as do City and United are still in the title race, too. I predicted Liverpool would win because Brendan is building a fantastic team.” There was praise, too, for Tottenham. “A team who will go on and win trophies,” said Mourinho, Tottenham Manager Mauricio Pochettino was philosophical in defeat and confident that his young team would learn from the defeat: “I’m disappointed for us, but proud of my players,” he said. ”We respected our style and philosophy. We have to take a lot of positives. We are a very young squad and my players will play a lot of finals in the next few years. We need to improve and learn, and we will do that from this final. This group has a very bright future.”
The best football prediction though would suggest that for Chelsea this is not going to be their only trophy of the season whereas for Spurs, the FA Cup is still there to be won and a top four finish has to be achieved.