Eto’o ready for second stint under ‘friend’ Mourinho

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 September, 2013, 4:10am


Striker Samuel Eto'o is likely to make his Chelsea debut in today's Premier League match against Everton when he embarks on a second stint under Jose Mourinho, a manager he once vowed he would never play for.

Mourinho, who signed Eto'o last month from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala having previously worked with the Cameroonian at Inter Milan, suggested the 32-year-old would see some action at Goodison Park.

God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend ... It's a real pleasure to team up with him once more
Samuel Eto'o

"He will be selected," said Mourinho, whose side are unbeaten in their opening three league games. "When you are selected and you're a striker, normally you play. You start or you finish the game. My attacking players, when I select them, normally they play, because it's an area where I make more changes during the match."

A few years ago, having the Portuguese as his boss was inconceivable for Eto'o, who then went on to play in the 2010 Champions League final when Mourinho's Inter beat Bayern Munich.

"Before meeting at Inter, we didn't know each other personally, so our relationship was tense. I even said one time that I'd never play for a club where Jose was coach," Eto'o said.

"But God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend. Now he's my coach again. It's a real pleasure to team up with him once more and join a great team. Jose has a real clear idea. He talks straight and it's really important in this business. He's sincere and straightforward."

Mourinho is counting on Eto'o to add experience in front of a young midfield and also provide competition for Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.

"I think he is adapted to the style of play we want in our team, which is a bit contradictory to the general style and philosophy in the Premier League," he added.

"We are not a physical, direct team. We are a team that want to use the qualities of our attacking players in a different way and Samuel is adapted to it.

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

He said having Eto'o with the other two senior strikers in the squad was key to his plans.

"Normally I start with one striker," Mourinho said. "A few times I can start with two. Normally I start with one but many times I finish with two.

"I chase results. Sometimes if I have to risk one point to get three, I do it almost every time. I like to have strikers on the bench and I like to finish matches with two of them."