Jose: Win would be significant
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jose Mourinho thinks a win against Arsenal will give Chelsea a "significant" lead.
Jose Mourinho thinks victory against Arsenal on Sunday will give Chelsea a "significant" lead in the Premiership title race.
The Portuguese boss can, though, prepare to be misquoted in the press over the weekend after giving his opinion on the goalkeeping situation at Highbury.
Manuel Almunia has been criticised since replacing Jens Lehmann at Arsenal and Mourinho was quizzed about the subject.
"Do they have a problem with the goalkeepers?" asked the Blues manager. "I cannot answer you.
"I have two keepers in great shape. Mr [Arsene] Wenger knows his keepers well. He knows what type of football Chelsea play so he can choose a keeper in relation to the football.
"Lehmann is one of the best in Germany. Almunia, they bought him for some reason. It's true. [Am I not impressed by him?] I don't have to be impressed. I like my keepers very much; both of them."
Although Mourinho's comment about Almunia brought chuckles from the reporters at the press conference, it seems the former Porto chief was implying that Wenger signed Almunia for a reason - because he had seen enough quality in the Spaniard.
Instead of being drawn on any problems for The Gunners, Mourinho is typically relaxed about the Super Sunday game.
"I think everybody likes these matches," he stated. "Everybody is cool and looking forward to it.
"At the end of the game, Chelsea will be top of the league and I think this is important. It takes a lot of, not pressure, but the salt and pepper out of the game a little bit.
"At the end of the game, Chelsea will be the leaders so it's not a question that this game can decide a change of positions.
"This is a game where, at the end of it, Chelsea will be the leaders so that the fans can sign that beautiful song they sing at every game. They can sing at the end again because Chelsea will be top of the league.
"I tell you that eight points' difference is a lot. It's significant, if we win. If we draw, it's five points. If we lose, two points. After that, we have two matches at home against Norwich and Aston Villa so it's significant if we win."
Mourinho was also asked if the champions will miss their skipper Patrick Vieira, who is out through suspension.
"[Vieira] is an important player for them," he opined. "He is their captain. He's a man with good responsibility in the team so I think they will miss him.
"It's normal. The same way I would miss John Terry if he's not involved in the game but I have answers. One day, if Terry is not able to play, I have answers.
"To be fair, Arsenal's best period of the season was at the beginning when they were scoring four and five and beating everybody. And Patrick was not there.
"It's true. It looks a contradiction but it is a reality.
"I think they have a lot of potential as their young players are good so I think they have an answer.
"They have a great side. Liverpool played Arsenal without [Milan] Baros and no strikers so they brought young [Neil] Mellor in and they won. So I think every team has important players but every team has an answer."
|Arsenal 6/4 Draw 2/1 Chelsea 7/4 - |
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