Jose Mourinho's pathetic mind games show he hasn't changed

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has remained fairly calm and quiet in the early part of a tremendous start to the season for his new-look Blues side, but once again showed his true colours both before and after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Mourinho has a tremendous squad to choose from and all the tactical nous to make sure they lift the Premier League title next May, and still just couldn't help himself but get into a war of words with City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

The pair have history dating back to their time in La Liga, although there's barely a coach at the highest level who hasn't engaged in a round of mind games with Mourinho, a man who at heart just loves to antagonise opponents to gain any edge possible.

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51 years old but certainly not showing it

Mourinho accused Pellegrini of hypocrisy in a frankly forgettable slanging match over tactics, but after a decade of antagonising and crossing the line consistently its about the time the Blues boss showed a bit more maturity and helped Chelsea's effort to change their image across the board.

It says something about Mourinho's attitude that he has a special knack of winding up Pellegrini, a quiet coach who has largely let his City teams do the talking over the last 12 months or so.

Pellegrini has only previously rowed with Alan Pardew since arriving in the Premier League, and let's the face it the Newcastle United manager could probably start a fight in a phone booth when his troublesome temper flares up.

In Mourinho's defence the City boss is not above criticism himself and lets Mourinho's gets under his skin far too easily, making the pair come off like a pair of spoiled brats.

With Mourinho's track record though Pellegrini should definitely consider consistent jibes a compliment.

The Blues boss is very much in the Sir Alex Ferguson mould in that he normally only bothers engaging in verbal sparring with direct title rivals, just ask Arsene Wenger!

Attitude undermining some fantastic work

Chelsea fans probably couldn't care jot about Mourinho's antics as long as it produces results, although they definitely should.

At all levels the club are trying very hard to change their perception of being a money-driven machine only interested in the bottom line and winning every trophy in sight.

Mourinho has embraced that vision and even produced a string of extremely impressive transfer deals over the last six months, working quite brilliantly within the limits of some pretty questionable UEFA regulations with regard to Financial Fair Play.

Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis, Didier Drogba arrived in West London this summer and all for a magnificent net spend of just £10 million.

The man with the special moniker has even insisted on numerous occasions that he's committed to finally bringing through academy prospects, although it remains to be seen if he'll follow through on that promise.

Fabregas and Costa in particular have introduced some exciting attacking endeavour that was very short supply from Chelsea last season, but it all still looks very much at odds with the fundamentals that have Mourinho a phenomenally successful coach across the continent.

Surely scope for more expansive tactics

Chelsea's 1-1 draw with City on Sunday was a perfect example that Mourinho still needs to be coaxed out of his shell a touch when it comes to being tactically flexible away from home in the bag matches.

Ander Schurrle's goal combined with Pablo Zabaleta's sending off put all the foundations in place for Chelsea's fifth successive Premier League victory, but they unravelled somewhat late on and former favourite Frank Lampard took advantage.

If Mourinho had showed a touch more adventure and gone for the kill late Chelsea could easily have got the game done and dusted before Lampard popped up to break Blues hearts.

On the surface two dropped points in arguably Chelsea's toughest away game of the season is no big deal, after all it's classic Mourinho to make sure the Blues are impenetrable at Stamford Bridge.

With the likes of Costa, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas all fit and firing though I think Chelsea fans are well within their rights to want more in terms of style to match the substance.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that Chelsea throw caution to the wind on the road and risk Arsenal style meltdowns in search of an advantage, but there's definitely plenty of room for improvement in terms of the product being delivered to Shed End regulars.

If Mourinho is truly serious about a decade of delivering long-term targets then it's time to make more changes, forget the squabbling in press conferences and start working on a plan to get the most from Chelsea's most creative players.

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Jose Mourinho
Premier League

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