It has been the talk. Many football pundits have criticized Jose Mourinho for bringing Samuel Eto’o with him to Stanford Bridge in his second coming as Chelsea Manager. They say Eto’o has passed his prime and may not contribute much in Chelsea’s title chase. But what the pundits may not know is Mourinho’s special love for West African players.

Mourinho, fondly called several nicknames like ‘The Phenomenon,’ ‘The Special One,’ ‘The Only One,’ and now he said he is “The Happy One;’ is arguably the best coach around today. He has won virtually every major league and championship titles in Europe. Mourinho has also managed major teams including:  Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Though, he may be one controversial personality, a manager that can’t be pushed around, not even by Ibriamovich, his multi-billionaire employer. He knows what he wants and his winning mentality usually drives him to go for the best.

“Eto’o isn’t a controversy. I’ve worked with him enough at Inter Milan and I know he has all the ability to deliver. Perhaps, he needs time to settle into English football and into Chelsea tradition.” Mourinho explained.

Well, Mourinho doesn’t seem to be that manager that makes excuses for a player. But what you should understand is this, it isn’t about Eto’o, Mourinho also took Michael Essien with him to Real Madrid, where he yet signed another West African star, Emmanuel Adebayor. And back at Chelsea, he also brought back Essien.

Mourinho has worked with most West African stars in recent time. Apart from Eto, Essien and Adebayor, Mourinho has also worked with Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou and John Mikel Obi.

“It isn’t about where a player comes from, but most West African players I have had to work with have something in common. They want to win all the time! You can see that their tenaciousness and fighting spirit. These breed of players could give you the extra touch. Players like Essien, Drogba and Eto; you can rely on to win each time.” Mourinho further explained

But he has found it even difficult to let go of players like John Mikel Obi after many speculations that the Nigerian player might be excess in Chelsea star studded team. Yet Mourinho said: “I’ve worked with many players around the world, but players like Mikel you can’t just wish away. He always has something special to add to the team mix and sometimes, you might need him to turn around games you wanted to stabilize the midfield and slow down the pace of opponents attack. Mikel has that rare ability to hold on to the ball and play among set of players, moving the ball to and fro.”

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