Sidwell: Drogba wanted to 'kill' Ben Haim in training after a tackle

Didier Drogba wanted to ‘KILL’ Tal Ben Haim over a tackle, Michael Essien ‘snapped’ Andriy Shevchenko… and Jose Mourinho ‘thrived off’ it! Steve Sidwell lifts the lid on boss’s culture at Chelsea – and insists Spurs players aren’t ‘buying into it’

  • Tottenham Hotspur lost 1-0 at home to bitter rivals Chelsea on Thursday night 
  • The defeat was Spurs’ third straight in the Premier League to leave them eighth
  • Steve Sidwell feels Tottenham players aren’t receptive to Jose Mourinho’s style
  • Sidwell played under Mourinho for almost three months at Chelsea in 2007
  • At the Blues his team-mates were driven and Mourinho ‘thrived’ off their clashes

Steve Sidwell believes there is a spark missing at Tottenham under Jose Mourinho compared to his first spell at Chelsea, where players were always playing on the competitive limit even in training – with stars sometimes wanting to ‘kill’ each other.

Spurs suffered a third straight defeat in the Premier League on Thursday night as they lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea, courtesy of a Jorginho first-half penalty after an Eric Dier foul on Timo Werner.

The loss means the north London club have dropped to eighth in the table as they face an almighty battle to secure a top-four finish this season.

Jose Mourinho has a problem with his Tottenham players ‘not buying in’ to his methods, according to Steve Sidwell, who played under the Portuguese at Chelsea in 2007

Spurs lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea on Thursday after Eric Dier gave away a first-half penalty

And reflecting on their problems, Sidwell feels the players aren’t buying into Mourinho’s methods that drove such a competitive spirit within his previous teams.

The former midfielder joined Chelsea as a free agent from Reading in July 2007 and spent almost three months under the Portuguese before the latter was sacked in 2007.

And during that time Sidwell has revealed that Mourinho thrived off the full-throttle drive within the squad that once saw star striker Didier Drogba wanting to fight centre back Tal Ben Haim after one bad challenge.

‘You have to buy into it as a player. Jose is a defensive-minded coach, Pep [Guardiola] and [Jurgen] Klopp are front foot, attack-minded, but this is Jose’s bread and butter,’ he told BT Sport.

‘This is what he does. If players can buy into it then great.


Didier Drogba (left, top left) wanted to ‘kill’ Tal Ben Haim (right, far right) after one bad tackle in training, revealed Sidwell as he gave insight into Chelsea’s past mentality under Mourinho

John Terry, Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard (left-right) embodied Mourinho’s qualities

Sidwell feels at present Spurs are not receptive to Mourinho’s confrontational style

‘At Chelsea, they were defensively sound, but there were leaders, going to Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. [Frank] Lampard, [Michael] Essien, Drogba, [Michael] Ballack, there were leaders in there.

‘In training, players were smashing the hell out of each other.

‘Essien was snapping [Andriy] Shevchenko in half, Tal Ben Haim going through Drogba and he was getting up and saying: “I want to kill him.”

‘Jose was saying: “I need him on Saturday, you can kill him next week.”

‘He [Mourinho] loved that and thrived off that. And he’s not getting that at Spurs.’

Mourinho will be hoping to address Spurs’ slide on Sunday when they host relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion at midday. 


Sidwell played under Mourinho during 2007 and saw his methods work closely at first-hand 

Mourinho speaks with another one of his prized Chelsea warriors, Michael Essien

The frustrated mood at Tottenham is summed up by Son Heung-min on Thursday night




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