There is a piece of Chelsea TV footage from Jose Mourinho’s first spell at the club when he is being interviewed at the training ground and, behind him, his two loyal aides, Rui Faria and Andre Villas-Boas, walk past back and forth whispering conspiratorially. It gets to the point where Mourinho realises that there is a joke being played on him and he is not completely happy about it. “Look,” he says, “at these clowns I work with.”
That was those long ago days in the first Mourinho era when they still worked out of temporary cabins while the Cobham training ground was built and a fresh-faced Villas-Boas would earnestly compile dossier after dossier on the opposition. Yesterday at Cobham there was the sense that Villas-Boas, with his frankness about the deterioration of his relationship with Mourinho, had got under the skin of his old mentor.
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