A few Man United stars could pay heed to the man who played his best football ever under Jose, even if not always too regularly.
Cole told the Coach’s Voice about Mourinho:
I’d watched Jose Mourinho’s Porto side win the UEFA Cup and been so impressed.
As a manager, the man himself was even more impressive.
From the moment he came in, you could sense this guy was going
to take the club on to that next level.
”Straight away, he got me. I mean, he cracked the whip with me a lot.
That’s public, you know? And looking back, there were times when
I was really mad with him, but he knew what he was doing.
He knew how to wind me up and get a performance out of me.
He knew that if he dropped me, when he brought me on for 20 minutes
in the next game, he was going to get 20 minutes of the best I could give.
”He didn’t just criticise. I remember him telling the press that Frank Lampard
was the best player in the world. At the time, Frank didn’t realise how
good he was, but as soon as Mourinho said that, Frank’s shoulders went back.
It got 10 per cent more out of him that even I didn’t know was there.
He knew what to say to get the best out of different people.
”People talk about him changing me as a player, and he did.
But I was only looking for improvements, you know?
My natural inclination is to be a creative player.
To get the most joy out of my football. So, no matter how many times he told me,
sometimes I’d try something and have to put my hand up: ‘Sorry gaffer,
I shouldn’t have done that.’ But Mourinho made me into an all-around better player.
I was the best possible version of myself I could have been for Chelsea at that time.”
Source: The Coaches Voice.