Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho made a fairly stunning admission this week in an interview posted on the official Man Utd site: ManUtd.com
�The Chelsea project is not about winning one championship, it is about gaining a few more over the next few years. Only then can we compare ourselves to what Manchester United have done. At this moment we have just one Premiership. We have to do more to persuade people that Chelsea are the club of the future.”
One would have to agree. Man United are indeed still the greatest club in the world!! Forgetting even the olden days and the famous Munich tragedy and just considering the recent past in terms of the Premiership’s history, the facts concur. Since the Premiership started in 1992, Man United have won it 8 times, finished second three times and finished third , twice. So never out of the top three! That level of consistency is hard to beat. To talk nothing of the many FA Cup, League Cup and Charity Shield trophies. And despite MU‘s early exit from the Champions League this year, they have been the most consistent club in Europe, except for Real Madrid, in terms of quarter final qualification. And no club can claim to be “great” without European success. The crowning glory of the treble in 1999 was also a truly “great” achievement that no other English side is close to emulating.
There is such a sense of history at United, that cannot just be replicated in a short while by a massive injection of cash, as is the case with Abramovich and Chelsea. And these traditions have real meanings in the current behaviour of a club and its employees. There is just no getting away from the fact that Chelsea are perceived as “sleazy” amidst a continuos flow of the behind the scene activities. And just look at how many squad players come through for United, as compared to Chelsea. Greatness in the roots of the club. And at the risk of sounding nationalistic, just compare United in its British representation to the other big English clubs: Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
The great players of United are legendary. Who can Chelsea claim? To look at just the no.7 shirt of United: Bobby Charlton, George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and now Cristiano Ronaldo….of course, Mourinho is a smart fellow- he knows that by praising United‘s past he is both motivating his own players and calling us yesterday’s news…
But the reality is that players like Vidic, Evra and Ji Sung-Park come to United because of its greatness and this ensures continued and future success. United always respond. They have buried Arsenal, the bar having been raised. Next will be Chelsea.