Jose Mourinho Wants Players Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba at Chelsea

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 4, 2013

VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 09: Chelsea Coach Jose Mourinho (L) shares a joke with striker Didier Drogba  during Chelsea training and press conference ahead of tomorrow's Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match against Valencia, at the Stadium Mestalla on April 9, 2007 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has used some of his former superstar charges as the examples for his players to follow if they want to fill their trophy cabinet this season.

The Blues boss pointed out Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba—two of this generation's best strikers and both of whom have worked under Mourinho—as having the sort of mentality his current crop of stars need to emulate.

Mourinho with Ibrahimovic
Mourinho with IbrahimovicKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Mirror report quotes the Portuguese saying:

I like to put pressure on them, yes, but you have to analyse the players you're working with. I gave Didier as an example. When I put real pressure on him, the animal was always coming out.

Ibrahimovic at Inter - exactly the same. When I put real pressure on him, I knew that the answer was coming. It depends on the players' profiles. Some react in a very good way. Some don't. I have players who have told me not to criticise them in front of the other guys because, 'It's not good for my self-esteem.' I've had everything.

It was Mourinho who brought Drogba to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in 2004, a player with whom he would go on to develop a strong connection until departing for Inter in 2008.

The San Siro then sparked a brief but potent link-up with Ibrahimovic and, despite spending just one season alongside one another, the Swedish striker won the Serie A title, a Supercoppa Italiana trophy and the league's Golden Boot award under Mourinho.

Chelsea have struggled to replace the striking presence of Drogba since his departure from the club in 2012, with the likes of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba all failing to hit the mark with the same frequency as their Blues predecessor.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Demba Ba of Chelsea is substituted with Fernando Torres after being kicked in the face by Fabricio Coloccini of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It's not for a lack of trying that the club haven't found a reliable striking successor. Money has been spent as frivolously in West London over recent years as it ever was during Mourinho's first reign.

Per the Mirror's report, the former Real Madrid helmsman goes on to say:

We have here some people who won the title before, but they've not won it for quite a long time. When you don't do that for quite a long time, you forget it.

We've also got players who were playing in clubs not used to fighting for titles, clubs who'd do fantastic one day and see what would happen the next. That pressure to try and be top of the league, knowing that every little detail and every point can make a difference.

Most of Mourinho's old guard with whom he experienced previous glory in West London have now departed, the remaining figures all ageing.

Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel have all played prominently in some of Chelsea's highlights from the last decade but are, for the most part, all on the wrong side of 30.

Chelsea have gone nearly four years without winning the Premier League title, so Mourinho will look to reinvigorate his stars both old and new with the same winning mentality that worked so well during his first stint at the club. If he fails, expect him to try and find the new Drogba or Ibrahimovic to replace them.