Jose Mourinho slammed the media on Tuesday after a private conversation surrounding his strikers' inability to score was secretly filmed and published.
The Portuguese boss spoke bluntly in his press conference prior to Chelsea's Champions League round of 16 tie with Galatasaray, calling out Canal Plus—the station that broadcast his comments—as reported by Ben Smith of BBC Sport:
Mourinho on CanalPlus running footage of a private conversation: "You (the media) should all be embarrased...it's a real disgrace."— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) February 25, 2014
Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror provides Mourinho's quotes in full, which were given in response to a question from Sky Sports' Bryan Swanson:
I think you should be embarrassed as a media professional.
From the ethical point of view you shouldn't be happy that a colleague is able to record a private conversation and make it public. You should all be embarrassed because it's against the ethics of your work.
Is it a not-happy comment? Absolutely. But from the ethical point of view it's a real disgrace.
I'm not defending what I said. I'm attacking something that is fundamental in your professional area. That person showed exactly what he is or what he doesn't know about the job.
Mourinho was caught speaking about his Chelsea strikers in a derogatory fashion during a conversation with the boss of Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot.
As reported by Matt Barlow and Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, he complained about having a lack of goalscoring threat, despite possessing the likes of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba in his squad:
"The problem with Chelsea is I lack a scorer," said Mourinho during the chat. "I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?"
Mourinho confirmed he wouldn't make such comments in an official interview and moved quickly to clarify his jab toward Eto'o's age, as reported by Sky Sports:
From my perspective, the comment is obviously not a good one. It is not one that I would (make) in a serious way, in an official way in an interview.
[...] Samuel Eto'o is a four-times Champions League winner. It was with him that I had the best ever season of my career (at Inter Milan).
Mourinho continued by saying Eto'o has "no reason to be upset" after the striker once said the Portuguese boss is the only manager on the planet he wouldn't play for. Despite this, the duo enjoyed an excellent relationship in Serie A and have worked solidly together at Stamford Bridge.
Eto'o is Chelsea's most successful striker this season, having scored six goals in 17 Premier League appearances for the current division leaders, recorded by WhoScored.com.
Although lacking the lightning pace of his first spell with Mourinho, the Cameroonian striker has proven he can work hard to help improve the team's results.
Both Torres and Ba have disappointed throughout the season, scoring four and one Premier League goal respectively.
While Mourinho has largely rotated between Eto'o and Torres when both are fit, the latter recently suggested the manager doesn't provide his squad with reasons when they are dropped, reported by Marca and ESPN:
"You just get used to it and try to respect his decisions," said Torres.
This lack of communication may suggest slight disharmony within the Chelsea camp, a feeling that could be amplified now that Mourinho's private thoughts have become public.
To make things worse for Torres and his fellow strikers, the Blues boss even hinted he may attempt to lure Radamel Falcao away from Monaco, per The Guardian:
"I don't have Falcao, but Falcao doesn't have a club," said Mourinho. "Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters? If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be the end."
Mourinho will hope his misfiring forwards can help Chelsea to victory during their upcoming battle against a tough Galatasaray side. Didier Drogba—who defined Mourinho's first reign as Chelsea's most lethal goalscorer—will lead the line against his former side in an enticing Istanbul encounter.
It seems if Chelsea's current crop of strikers don't want to be offloaded with haste, they will have to begin impressing Mourinho quickly.