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Samuel Eto'o 'Very Annoyed' at Jose Mourinho's Embarrassing Chelsea Criticisms

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea on the ball during the FA Cup Fourth Round between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on January 26, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Samuel Eto'o is "very annoyed" with Jose Mourinho's decision to criticise the player in a conversation that was secretly filmed and later broadcast, according to the striker's former international coach.

Veteran boss Claude Le Roy, who has enjoyed two spells with the Cameroon national team during his career, discussed Mourinho's jabs with Eto'o—reported by Canal Plus via ESPN:

I had him on the phone just before I came on screen, and he's very annoyed.

Actually, Mourinho went to see him before he saw the pictures and told him to not believe everything that was going to be said. And that he had said nothing about him. But I can tell you that Samuel didn't like it.

LONDON - AUGUST 21:  Ghana manager Claude Le Roy during the international friendly match between Ghana and Senegal at The New Den on August 21, 2007 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

As reported by Matt Barlow and Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, Mourinho was recorded discussing his lack of striking options, despite having Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba in his squad, while also insulting Eto'o's age.

"The problem with Chelsea is I lack a scorer," said Mourinho. "I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?"

Canal Plus captured the chat and aired it around the world, much to the Chelsea manager's annoyance. Mourinho's press conference prior to his side's Champions League clash with Galatasaray was dominated by the incident, sparking an angry reaction from the Special One.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea signals during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on February 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Ben Smith of the BBC sums up the manager's irritated retort toward the press:

Mourinho aimed to justify his comments during the heated conference, but it seems Eto'o isn't best pleased with the man who brought him to West London from Anzhi Makhachkala, per Martin Lipton of the Mirror:

My comment was obviously not a good one or one I would do in a serious way or an official way in an interview.

Firstly because I don't make fun of anyone; secondly because if there is a list of manager who defends their players, I'm one of them; thirdly, because Eto'o is Eto'o, four times a Champions League winner.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19:  Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's third goal and completing his hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on January 19, 2014 in Lon
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

A spokesman for Canal Plus also weighed in after Mourinho aimed to publicly shame the channel for its decision to air his comments, per ESPN

These are not stolen images. The camera wasn't 10 metres away, it's not on zoom. You could see the red light and he was clearly aware he was being filmed, especially as he's someone who comes across cameras so often and who is used to the media.

Mourinho perhaps did not want to fully assume what he had said. He could have come and seen the journalist and asked us not to use the images. He did not make any special request.

Mourinho may wish to ensure Eto'o's reported annoyance isn't going to impact his game. Although far from prolific, the experienced striker is Chelsea's most lethal goal-scoring outlet behind Eden Hazard this season, having netted six goals in 17 Premier League appearances, per WhoScored.com.

He has also emerged useful in the Champions League, scoring two goals in three starts and a duo of substitute appearances. With Torres continuing his return to full fitness and Ba heavily unfancied, Eto'o is likely to lead the line when the Blues run out at the Turk Telekom Arena on Wednesday.

Both Mourinho and Eto'o can expect further questioning after the match. The situation will only be cleared if the player declares there isn't a problem, or that he has settled his frustration in a personal chat with the manager.

Should Eto'o happen to lose his form without the situation being resolved, criticism of Mourinho will intensify, as he will be outlined as the catalyst for the player's sudden lack of quality.

 

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