Why Mourinho Must Choose Champions League Glory Over EPL - Simply SAMAD

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Mourinho Must Choose Champions League Glory Over EPL

Two seasons without a trophy? Unheard of. In Jose Mourinho's 'special' career, that doesn't happen. It cannot happen — not with the teams at his disposal and a great record to fall back on. But if he doesn't choose right, Mourinho finishing trophy-less for two seasons in a row is a big possibility. It may sound like that's no big deal, but this is a man who has lost just four home matches in 10 seasons — so not winning something for two years will be treated as failure. Out of four available trophies, Chelsea are still in the running for two — but Mourinho has to make a choice about which one to throw everything at. And he has to be sure because a temptation to go after both the Premier League and the Champions League may result in getting nothing.
Case for the Premier League

Chelsea is still in the title race mathematically — but it's not in their hands. They need to beat Liverpool at Anfield first (a team which has won 11 games in a row) and then hope that the Reds drop points in game 37 and 38 (vs Crystal Palace and Newcastle). They also need to hope that Manchester City drop points against West Brom, West Ham, Everton or Palace. Liverpool have momentum but title charges have been derailed before in easier circumstances, and this is one of the most open seasons ever. But if there is a league title Mourinho will be proud to win, it will be this one — and imagine how sweet victory will be after, according to him, all the referees have tried to wrest the trophy away from his team. Chelsea travel to Liverpool and Cardiff while welcoming Norwich between those games and relegation threatened teams play their best football when scraping for survival. This is no easy run-in coupled with semifinals against a resurgent Atletico Madrid — especially for a team  who are lacking confidence in front of goal and are missing their most potent threat in Eden Hazard.

The teams who are in the title race — City and Liverpool — have only one trophy in their sights. Liverpool also have fewer fixtures to play, while City are also out of Europe and can concentrate only the Premier League. It would take an improbable set of circumstances to see Chelsea come out on top in this situation.

Concentrate on the Champions League

Mourinho will always regret not winning this trophy in his first tenure at Chelsea. If convincing Roman Abramovich that he should never have got in his way the first time round, Mourinho must win the UCL in this stint or live with the fact that he could never do it with his most beloved team. And doing it in his first return season will make the rest of his time at the club cozier. Probably Chelsea are happier with Atletico in the semis than Real or Bayern. While Atletico are certainly no pushovers, this is still a tie where Chelsea go in as favourites. Yes, they don't have that home record to fall back on anymore, but Mourinho brings out the best in his sides while playing in Europe. Winning it with Porto and Inter Milan were bigger achievements certainly, but in those years his eyes were firmly set on Europe — this time having a foot in the EPL race may prove to be a distraction that he cannot afford.

Winning the Champions League with Chelsea will be Mourinho's crowning glory. Forget the EPL, throw the kitchen sink at Atletico and win it. Legendary status beckons the Portuguese. Even untouchability.

Culled from FIRST POST

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