Mourinho’s just answering questions, and tackling one part of the discussion – but that won’t stop the media or us from taking this as a direct attack on Arsenal’s honour from Chelsea and more fuel to the fire that people assume stands between the two clubs.
Here’s what Mourinho said, comparing Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s youth policies:
“Can you tell me what a player prefers? To play a game here and there in the Carling Cup or be like Lassana Diarra.
He waited and waited for a chance. But he kept working and when he went in the team, he went to stay.
At this moment he is not playing just Carling Cup matches. He is also playing Champions League matches.
So what is the best process? To give them little chances or to work them and put them there when they are completely ready and there is no chance to fail.
Diarra went from being nobody to a Chelsea first-choice player.”
Now Diarra is good, but he’s not that good to be a Chelsea first-choice player. He’s there because of injuries and rotation, just as Aliadiare and Traore are there because of injuries and rotation.
Mourinho’s comments raise an important question though – what policy is better – slowly develop players like Chelsea and Manchester United do, or trust them and throw them in the line of fire as Arsenal have done?