BAYERN Munich winger Arjen Robben has provided an insight into his time with Chelsea, insisting that Jose Mourinho “does not like injured players”.
The Dutchman spent three years at Stamford Bridge and although he won two Premier League titles, fitness issues curtailed his progress and he was eventually moved on to Real Madrid in 2007.
And Robben admits that it was always going to be an uphill struggle to win over Mourinho, as he joined the Blues with injury problems.
He told The Guardian: “It was hard at first because I came with an injury. It was very difficult for me and also for him. Of course, he doesn’t like players who get injured. So it wasn’t easy but I always had the feeling I had his confidence.
“I played some great games for Chelsea but it was unfortunate I had injury problems and I couldn’t do it over a long period – like now.
“For me it was very good to work with him at that age because I was young and, yeah, with Mourinho, you have to be mentally very strong. You have to jump on the train with him or… you’re off. So it was great for my development.”
Reflecting on the lack of a winter break in England, Robben still finds it “crazy” that Premier League clubs are expected to play so much football over a short period of time.
He added: “I can’t say I miss it, but it also had its charms. The real charm was the family coming over for Christmas – and watching me play at home on Boxing Day. But playing four games in 10 days is crazy. A break in the middle of the season is good for everybody.”