Carlo Cudicini has shed light on how Jose Mourinho’s man-management style pushed Chelsea to success in his early days at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is currently being criticised as Tottenham manager, after photos emerged on social media of him training with a small group of players in a park, despite the government’s lockdown rules during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
But former Chelsea goalkeeper Cudicini has revealed in the new book ‘The Boss: Chelsea managers from Ted Drake to Frank Lampard’, written by ZapSportz’s Harry Harris, that Jose’s strength is how he creates a vital collective belief within his players.
Cudicini told Harris: “We already had a good team, so I guess what Jose brought to the club was the mentality to be champions.
“That arrogance, knowing the strength of that team and being very good at pushing that team in the right direction were his biggest qualities when he first came to English football and to Chelsea.
“Playing or not playing, happy or not happy at being in the team, or not being in the team, he got everyone on the same side, especially in that first season, to all push in the same direction. And that is the reason why Chelsea won the title for the first time in 50 years.
“They might have already been important players, but he managed to change their mentality in a way to take the entire team forward together.”
Mourinho’s man-management style has been questioned at times since his second spell at Chelsea ended, with team spirit appearing to have become fractured during Jose’s time at Manchester United.
But Cudicini was nothing but impressed with how the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ breezed into Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004, including how Jose handled players not in the starting 11.
He went on: “From a personal point of view it was something I had to deal with and the manager had to deal with, because the manager picked Petr Cech in front of me.
“So I saw how he managed to bring his managerial abilities in convincing everyone, happy or not happy about being in the team or not being in the team, because he convinced us all that we were all in it together, pushing for the same target.
“Everyone, including myself, bought into that and that was the only way he made us champions and the reason we were champions two seasons in a row.”
Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge fresh from winning the Primeira Liga and Champions League with Porto. His supreme personal confidence brought a whirlwind of change.
Carlo continued: “He had a very strong personality to achieve that and he brought a different way of training, totally different to Claudio Ranieri. He was definitely a breath of fresh air with his attitude that brought a new mentality to the team.
“I have to say that his relationship with his players was built on trust and I trusted him, because even though he didn’t start me as first-choice goalkeeper, in the first couple of years I still played 13 or 14 games, which was most unusual for a reserve goalkeeper, if the first-choice keeper wasn’t injured. He allocated me certain games.
“It was normal to have a first-choice keeper and the reserve would sit on the bench, but here, even though Petr Cech started, I had a lot of opportunities to play and to support and help the team to gain so much success over the years.
“The fact that I felt as if I had an important part to play in the team, that kept me happy. Even though I wasn’t starting all of the games, I was still much involved in a great team at a great club and I did my best to win my place back, which kept everyone motivated.”
‘The Boss: Chelsea managers from Ted Drake to Frank Lampard’ is out now, written by Harry Harris, with a foreword by Frank Lampard and an introduction by Ivor Baddiel. Published by Empire Publications.