Jose Mourinho started the Premier League mind games with Frank Lampard by insisting that the pressure for the title should be on the big spenders like Chelsea and not on him at Tottenham.
Mourinho has said he knows what it was like to work under high expectations, after two spells with Roman Abramovich and top positions at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
“When you are favorites you know why you are favorites,” the Spurs boss said ahead of Sunday’s derby, his latest return to Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho has stepped up the Premier League’s mind games by insisting that Chelsea should be the team with the pressure for the title after their big spend, not his top Tottenham side.
The Blues became the first England team to spend £ 230million on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner
“I was in clubs that were, say, ‘market champions’ because of the investment. I had to face this pressure. So now it’s not for me to face that pressure. Put a little pressure on them. Leave us in peace.
Chelsea became the first England team to spend £ 230million in a single transfer window this year, an expense that followed a transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in a deal to ‘worth up to £ 150million the previous summer.
Lampard responded to Mourinho, saying: “If you look at the spending over the past two seasons, what Tottenham have been doing this summer, I have come to Chelsea and what they have been doing during this break, compared to us, you will see it been very similar.
“The only thing that will allow you to be successful is hard work. The pressures are enormous anyway. The pressures at Tottenham will be strong, as Jose has built a fantastic squad and has incredible players.
But Frank Lampard insisted Spurs’ transfer spending is similar to Chelsea’s over two seasons
“It’s very comparable if you look at the expenses for sure, since I’ve been at the club. “
Mourinho, however, insisted: “I’ve been to Chelsea and I know the difference. I enjoyed this first deal with Tottenham.
“I enjoyed the kind of wise market where, with less money, you try to give the team a good balance, not to make mistakes, to pick the right guys. And I’m really happy with what we have. Each of them responds well and gives the best of themselves.
Tottenham spent around £ 75million in total on Sergio Reguilon, Matt Doherty, Joe Rodon and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who proved a good deal at Southampton’s £ 20million. They also converted Giovani Lo Celso’s loan to Real Betis into a permanent deal and signed a loan from Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius.
Spurs start the weekend at the top of the Premier League and, following last weekend’s victory over Manchester City, fans dare to question the chance of a first title in 60 years.
“We just want to try to win the next game and nothing more,” Mourinho said.
Management mind games started between ex-player and coach ahead of Sunday
Spurs’ win over Manchester City last weekend saw them claim the title
“We are not contesting the title. We challenge for the next game.
“For the next game, we are not outsiders. For each game, we are never underdogs. For every game we try to win. We are still in the running to win the next game. Nothing more than that. We’re going and our goal is to win the game.
Mourinho has not won at Chelsea in five attempts since he was sacked for the second time by Abramovich almost five years ago. He lost three and drew with Manchester United and Lampard’s side beat their Spurs in February.
“Just another game for me,” he said at the prospect of another duel in SW6, where he was once a hero. ‘No problem at all.’