Football

Jose Mourinho criticises players - but who was he talking about?

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There was a major bump in the road of Chelsea's otherwise serene progress towards the knockout stages of the Champions League last night as Maribor grabbed an unlikely draw on home soil against Jose Mourinho's men.

The European minnows took a shock lead just before the hour mark when Agim Ibraimi curled home a wonderful effort beyond Petr Cech from the edge of the area. Nemanja Matic helped pull his side level by tapping home from close range before Eden Hazard missed a chance to claim the win from the penalty spot with four minutes remaining. 

Achievement

Don't underestimate the scale of Maribor's achievement; Chelsea were 3/10 with some bookmakers to stroll along to victory in Slovenia, while most priced the draw at 4/1. Simply put, there's no way the Blues should have walked away with anything less than three points having doled out a 6-0 drubbing in their previous encounter.

The result doesn't affect Chelsea's status as Group G leaders - they're still top with eight points and two games to go - but that didn't stop Mourinho from expressing his dissatisfaction afterwards.

Focus

"Many times surprises happen when people are not fully focused, when they believe the game can't be a difficult one," said the Special One. "Only when Maribor scored did the players realise the danger."

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That begs the inevitable question; who was he talking about? The Chelsea boss has never been shy of criticising his players in public and has previously singled out Eden Hazard as the focus for his ire - but despite his penalty miss it doesn't seem as though Mourinho was talking about the Belgian international.

He said: "When a player plays as well as Eden Hazard did – for me he was absolutely fantastic, by far the best player in my team – he can miss a penalty and still be the best player in my team."

Star performer

So that rules out Hazard, who else could Mourinho have been talking about? Well one man who he's likely to be less than impressed with is Filipe Luis. The full-back was a big-money signing over the summer but has failed to force his way into the first team. He was given a chance to prove his worth last night but was certainly found wanting for Maribor's goal as he failed to get anywhere near Ibraimi for his opener. The fact he was hauled off not long after tells you everything you need to know.

Further forward, Mourinho was likely less than impressed with both Willian and Andre Schurrle. The latter in particular may find himself in a spot of bother having been part of the team which struggled to victory over Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup that Mourinho accused of making his job 'easy' by not forcing him to make difficult team selections.

Flops

Last night the German was ineffectual, while Willian hardly fared much better. With so much competition for attacking spots in Chelsea's line up, Mourinho is likely to be particularly annoyed that his squad players don't appear to be up for the fight. 

Didier Drogba hardly covered himself in glory while John Terry looked fairly lacklustre as well - but both players are seasoned performers and likely to be granted a bit of grace by the Special One.

So that's who we think has been targeted by Mourinho - who do you think he was talking about when he questioned some of his players' focus? Let us know who you think by leaving a comment below.

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Topics:
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League
Football

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