Jose Mourinho has warned Joe Cole, Arjen Robben and Damien Duff that they face a fight for selection in Chelsea’s midfield this coming season.
Speaking in an interview in the current issue of Chelsea magazine, Mourinho acknowledged the difficulties of accommodating the trio simultaneously.
“It is very difficult to play with the three of them at the same time,” he said. “Of course I know that Cole can play in the centre of midfield, but normally to keep the shape of our team, of these three players, only two will play. [William] Gallas, [Ricardo] Carvalho, [Robert] Huth and [John] Terry, from these four only two will be on the pitch, but we need that competition.”
He added: “A player cannot think, ‘Because I was good, I have my place and because I have my place I don’t need to have the same commitment’.”
Joe Cole has vowed to fight for his place. He told his official website: “I can improve again next season. It’s taken me three years to convince the manager I’m the man for the job and I’m certainly not going to give up my place lightly.”
Mourinho also confirmed that winning the Premiership remains his primary objective. “I keep saying that the winners of European competitions are not always the best team,” he said. “In knock-out competitions there is always the space for a surprise, for an unfair situation. For example, Liverpool had 37 points less than us in the Premiership, but they are European champions. The team that wins the domestic league is always the best.”
You got that right, Jose.