One of Jose Mourinho's former attacking generals has piled praise onto the Portuguese coach in his autobiography.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a bit like marmite, you love him or you hate him but you can’t argue against the fact that when he talks, it’s pretty entertaining to listen to.
The Swedish superstar is releasing his autobiography immodestly titled ‘I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is one of the only people not on the receiving end of some stick.
Ibrahimovic rips into several top world class individuals connected to football, blaming Pep Guardiola in particular for misconceptions about his game and the idea that he goes missing in big games.
However, for all the negative perceptions of Mourinho in the modern game, he comes across favourably, with the Swede giving an insight into why Chelsea may just win the lost this season.
“That guy says whatever he wants. I like him. He’s the leader of his army. But he cares, too. He would text me all the time at Inter, wondering how I was doing. He’s the exact opposite of Pep Guardiola - Mourinho would become a guy I was basically willing to die for,” writes Ibrahimovic.
No one can argue with Mourinho’s success record and the insights the former Inter and Barcelona striker gives suggest that he’s learned a lot along the way, possibly from encountering colleagues like Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
The reason it’s all such a positive for Chelsea is because based on this, it’s likely that he has the dressing room playing for him in every single match, whether that’s a Premier League derby against Spurs or an FA Cup match against a League Two team.
One of the more fascinating insights is the care and equality he shows to all members of his team, letting the players with egos know that they aren’t untouchable.
“He went up to guys who thought they were untouchable and let them have it. He stood there, only coming up to their shoulder, and didn’t try to suck up to them. He got straight to the point: ‘From now on, you do it like this,” adds the Swede.
The reason that’s such a positive for the Blues relates to the younger members of the current squad and new signings.
It reduces the chances that younger players and new arrivals will feel intimidated by the bigger presences in the dressing room, which can have drastic negative consequences.
Andre Villas-Boas encountered problems in the Chelsea dressing room because he seemed unwilling to take this sort of approach, allowing the bigger characters to dictate which was one of the reasons that ultimately led to his departure.
Mourinho definitely has a softer side based on all of this, showing great knowledge of every single individual who plays for him while more than likely being taught a lesson by Sir Alex Ferguson about how to get to the more egotistical stars.
Say what you like about Chelsea but Mourinho’s skill and personality means any challenge can be thrown at the Blues this season and they will emerge stronger for it.
What do you make of Ibrahimovic’s insight into Mourinho?
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