16 October 2014 12:54
Neil Warnock has hailed Jose Mourinho as “the best there is” ahead of Crystal Palace’s Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday.
The two sides meet at Selhurst Park at the weekend, with Palace fans hoping for a repeat of last season’s corresponding fixture when, under Tony Pulis, they defeated Chelsea 1-0 thanks to John Terry’s own goal.
Chelsea have begun the new campaign in blistering form, winning six and drawing one of their opening seven league games to establish a five-point lead over champions Manchester City.
And Warnock has praised the managerial ability of Mourinho, drawing comparisons between the Portuguese and former Nottingham Forest and Derby County boss Brian Clough, who won back-to-back European Cups during his time at The City Ground.
“I think he’s the best there is, I always have done,” he said. “He’s great for you guys [the media], he’s always quoting something.
“When he came on the scene, he was such a good-looking so-and-so as well.
“He’s signed well. If they’d signed a striker in January they’d have won the league.
“He’s a good manager, he’s a players’ manager. I’m sure he’s said a few things over the last 12 months that he might have regretted later but that’s the way it is.
“It’s an emotional game, you can’t have it all ways. He’s the nearest thing to Cloughie really. Tactically, when it comes to the tough games he’s spot on.”
Warnock feels this Chelsea side could emulate the achievements of Arsenal in 2003-04, who went an entire season unbeaten en route to the Premier League title.
“I think it’s a possibility, yes,” he said.
“When I look at the Arsenal team that did it, this is as near as you’re going to get to a flawless team really. They’re pretty solid everywhere, there’s not many weaknesses in the team.”