Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says he, along with everyone else, is excited for the start of the English league season, but that the Premier League could be tighter than ever.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 7, 2015) (ITN) – Jose Mourinho welcomed the start of the new season on Friday (August 7), as Chelsea begin the defence of their English Premier League trophy.
Chelsea, who won last year’s campaign at a canter, face Swansea on Saturday (August 8) at Stamford Bridge in the first match of their title defence.
After a relatively poor pre season, culminating in losing to Arsenal in last weekend’s Community Shield, Mourinho says he, along with the fans, are looking forward to the start of “real football” this weekend.
“The real football starts tomorrow,” he told a news conference on Friday. “No-one of the big leagues in Europe started yet. No Spain, no Italy, no Germany, no Portugal. So, I think everybody is waiting for tomorrow. Finally people has proper football, some in the stadiums, some at homes on TVs. Proper football starts tomorrow.”
Mourinho’s Chelsea won the title last year with a total of 87 points, eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
However, the Portuguese believes a smaller total could be needed to win this time around, as the smaller clubs could win more matches against the top teams pushing for the title.
“I believe that the teams that are not title contenders, they are going to be stronger,” said Mourinho.
“And because they are going to be stronger, they are going to win more points. I believe that the gap between the top and the others will be shorter. And I believe that will be something more normal to happen, that we lose matches, that we, the top teams, lose matches. And, because of that, I have the feeling that maybe less points is enough to win the title. But, maybe I am wrong.”
Mourinho has also bemoaned Chelsea’s relative lack of signings in this campaign, adding only Colombian striker Radamel Falcao as a back-up to injury-prone striker Diego Costa, and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, again as a back-up to the commanding Thibaut Courtois.
One area of concern for Mourinho is in defence, where there is a severe lack of depth, particularly in the full-back area.
Spanish incumbent will expect to start next season, whatever happens, following his impressive form since joining from Marseille in 2012. However, Chelsea have been linked with Augsburg left-back Baba Rahman in the media recently, and Mourinho says he expects to sign another defender before the end of transfer window on September 1.
“We have only (Cesar) Azpilicueta. We need a left-back. I know that, the board knows that, we all know that. My feeling is that we are going to have one, ” said Mourinho.