Top Stories

Monday Kickoff: Mourinho believes in ‘campaign’ against Chelsea; Torres returns to Atletico; and more



Chelsea’s run through the opening half of the Premier League season has sealed the club’s status as favorites, but manager Jose Mourinho believes the team’s progress is threatened to be derailed by a series of bad officiating decisions.

Mourinho said that he believes that there is an anti-Chelsea “campaign” following a yellow card issued to midfielder Cesc Fabregas for diving. The booking was Chelsea’s fourth of the year for simulation, leading Mourinho to state his belief that there is bias against his side.

“I think it’s clearly the result of something that looks like a campaign,” Mourinho said. “In the first match Diego [Costa] got a yellow card when should it have been a penalty and red card at Burnley.

“A few months later we lose two points in a match where the penalty is there and Fabregas gets a yellow card [on Sunday]. In football we are always trying – or we should always try – to change the bad things and the double punishment is something unbelievable.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:


After seven years away, Fernando Torres is coming home.

Atletico Madrid announced Monday that the club has sealed a return for the 30-year-old striker, who will join the team on-loan through the 2015-16 season.

Torres’ return to Atletico, for whom he made his debut in 2001, comes after a series of disappointing seasons since the Spanish forward broke the English transfer record in 2011 with his move to Chelsea.

“I’m going to Atletico on the pursuit of my happiness,” Torres said. “When I was a child, my dream was to play for Atletico. I achieved that, and to come back now is another dream I get to accomplish again. I’ve been fine with other teams, but there isn’t one like Atleti”.


Kevin Strootman insists that he doesn’t view current club Roma as a stepping stone to a bigger move while also admitting that it would be hard to turn down a move to a pair of elite teams.

The Roma midfielder, who has reportedly been targeted by Manchester United, admitted that he would relish the chance to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, although he is happy to remain at Roma in the meantime.

“I absolutely do not see Roma as just an intermediate step in my career,” Strootman said. “But I do think a player who performs well here will get to the absolute top quicker.

“Of course everybody wants to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they don’t come looking for you so quickly in the Eredivisie. There are odd exceptions, but in general their scouts tend to look around at higher levels.”


Crystal Palace are reportedly targeting former club player and current Newcastle manager Alan Pardew for their now-vacant position. (REPORT)

Brazilian centerback Dante insists that that nation’s embarassing 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany will “never happen again”. (REPORT)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that is “nothing concrete” regarding the potential departure of Lukas Podolski. (REPORT)

Midfielder Ander Herrera could return to the Manchester United lineup as soon as New Year’s Day. (REPORT)


What do you think of Mourinho’s comments? How will Torres perform at Atletico? What do you think of the current transfer stanglehold maintained by the world’s elite teams?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m a big fan of TSO but this is silly. There’s no “campaign” against Chelsea and he sounds ridiculous saying there is.

    • Yet, it is completely within his character. Why he has “fans” is beyond me. I understand that he wins and I am not saying that he is not good at getting results, but he is a total jackass.

      • Because he’s entertaining and because he’s a great coach who’s had tremendous success wherever’s he’s gone. Come on, the guy won the Champions League with Porto.

        Although I also became a Miami Heat fan (I followed the NBA but didn’t have a team before) when they signed LeBron mainly because it upset people so much, so maybe I just like the villain. The thing is, in both cases, I don’t really get why these guys are perceived as villains.

      • To be clear, I am not telling you who to like and who not to…

        To me, Mourinho is just a humongous prick with an ego that gets in his way time after time (even in success) and prevents him from actually building anything sustainable. That is the sign of a truly great coach in my opinion. Mourinho is just a great tactician — not a great coach.

        He has definitely won titles, but the Porto run might not be as impressive as it sounds when you look at who they beat. Only Tim Howard’s United in the quarters would qualify as a powerhouse, and he had a very good squad with Porto including guys like Deco and Carvalho. AND that was not even their first European championship, so not like it was uncharted territory.

      • True, he’s won everywhere but hasn’t had the sustained success of say, Sir Alec Ferguson. But that’s a pretty high bar – not many are at that level.

  2. It’s just Mourinho being a bitc…Mourinho. As soon as he starts feeling the heat he starts acting up blaming everybody but himself. Next week he’ll be throwing some players under the bus.

  3. I think it’s gone overboard, on replay it’s obvious he was tripped yesterday. You see one or so of those a week, false positives. We’d be better off with trip calls when they see it and anything else is a no call, including if they think they’re faking.

    I think the claimed concern with eliminating acting has just licensed defenders to act as well, upping the drama. No trip in the box is now complete without the defender running over to the player and shouting how they faked it, even when they did trip the guy. You don’t eliminate drama by increasing mutual dramatic stakes.


Leave a Comment