• Premier League

Mourinho: Eto'o ready for Chelsea bow

ESPN staff
September 13, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Jose Mourinho believes his relationship with Samuel Eto'o is stronger than ever © PA Photos
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Jose Mourinho says Samuel Eto'o will make his Chelsea debut away to Everton on Saturday, insisting his relationship with the striker has vastly improved.

Eto'o gave an interview last week in which he spoke of his previous anger towards Mourinho when the striker was at Barcelona and the manager in his first spell with Chelsea.

Their relationship became so strong at Internazionale, however, that Mourinho saw Eto'o as first choice after Wayne Rooney and essential to Chelsea's style of play; particularly praising his "appetite for goals".

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"He [Eto'o] will be selected and, when you are selected and you are a striker, normally you play. You start the game or finish the game," Mourinho said.

"My attacking players normally when I select them they play because it's the area I make most changes in the match. So, normally, he will play his first minutes for Chelsea.

"I think he is a player that can fit into the style of play we want in our game, which is a bit contradictory to the style and philosophy in the Premier League.

"We are not any more a physical team, we are a team that wants to use the abilities of our attacking players in a different way.

"Technically, he is very good, his movement is good, he is intelligent, he knows the kind of movement he has to make and give continuity to the attacking game.

"He has a natural appetite for goals and he gives experience to a team. From the midfield to the forward areas, Fernando [Torres] is the oldest and he is a young guy. The rest are young. Schurrle, [Eden] Hazard, Oscar all under 22. So I think Samuel is a player to add experience to that area."

Mourinho laughed when Eto'o's quotes about their previously acrimonious relationship was brought up during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

"I know he felt like that! You have to be experienced and smart," Mourinho said. "You have to know the football world is very small. Sometimes you say things and a few years later you have a difficult situation, so it's fine.

"At the beginning of my career I had a situation with Deco who was at Porto when I was at Leiria. In November we played and we exchanged some hot words and two weeks later I was Porto manager. I came into the dressing room and the first thing I did was look at Deco and he was looking at his knees.

"So, in football, you have these situations but we all know when we are in the same side, everything changes. And, at Inter, it was a golden moment for me and [Eto'o]."

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