All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge, including a look ahead to Newcastle United.
Kirk and Spock, Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr Gonzo and Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson have all constituted A-side bromances over the years and now, in 2013, to add to John Terry and Frank Lampard's unwavering bond, Chelsea have yet another 'I love you, man' moment as Juan Mata has confessed his off-the-pitch admiration for compatriot Fernando Torres.
I love it. And here's the proof, as first printed by London's Evening Standard: 'More than any advice, what you need when you are going through a bad moment is to feel that you have your people around you. That’s what I feel with all my team-mates, including Fernando. I feel that they like me. I feel that they are with me.
'When Fernando was in a bad moment, the only thing I tried to do is be with him because it’s what he needed and he’s being fantastic with me as well. We spend a lot of time together, I know him very well. I know how good he is mentally.
'He’s had difficult moments since he came, but now he looks like he’s happy. He deserves it. I hope he scores more, he plays more and continues to enjoy himself on the pitch. I see him enjoying his football again and that’s important. He can bring a lot of good things for the club and the national team over the next year.'
From bro, you rock to Mou, just stop as, following on from yesterday's revelation that Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew promised Jose 'trouble' should the Blues boss jump into the crowd to celebrate a Chelsea goal on Saturday, the man in charge at St James' Park has gone one step further today by claiming he'll give Mourinho a 'slap' if there's any overly rambunctious displays of jubilation on match-day.
Here's the quote, as published by The Telegraph, although they specify it was said with a smile: 'He doesn’t want to be jumping round me because I’ll give him a slap.'
Meanwhile, because of the club's midweek exploits against Arsenal, where they traveled into Gunners territory, played the better football and left Emirates Stadium with victory and quarter final progression into the League Cup, Jose has expressed his regret at potentially having to drop players who performed so well on Tuesday.
'I say [it's] a bad feeling. It's not easy for me to leave some players at home or on the bench because I think everyone deserves to play. To have all those choices is a good problem and to have all the players playing well and committed to the group is fantastic.
'But for me the responsibility of saying 'you don't play' is very hard because I feel I am being unfair with the ones I'm not selecting, because they are doing all they can to play and they can't do any more. When they come in they give everything, when they have a chance to play they play well.
'I change the team and they play a magnificent match so it's a difficult feeling for me because I'm unfair on them.'
I'm sure it's a problem Pardew wouldn't mind having!
And finally, have some pre-match statistics relevant to Chelsea's trip to Newcastle tomorrow lunch-time, courtesy of the official website of the Premier League:
- Newcastle have netted five goals from outside the penalty area this season – a joint high in the Barclays Premier League.
- Chelsea have averaged two goals per game in their last five Premier League trips to St James' Park.
- Jose Mourinho's side have conceded exactly one goal in each of their last four Premier League games.
- Chelsea have only kept three clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League away games.
- Newcastle have taken just five points from their last seven Premier League home games (W1 D2).
- Eden Hazard has created more chances from open play than any other player in the Premier League this season (19).
- Newcastle have conceded the joint-most headed goals this season (five, along with Fulham).
- Mourinho has won only two of his last nine Premier League away games (D5 L2).
image: © Ronnie Macdonald