Kurt Zouma recalls the day that Jose Mourinho called him in the office to give the scathing analysis of his performance for Chelsea.
Kurt Zouma was a 19-year-old up and coming defender signed by then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho back in 2014.
His arrival from Saint-Etienne for over 14 million Euros was a big deal for the young French defender.
Settling down at Stamford Bridge was not easy.
In an interview with RMC Sport, he recalls he was still adapting to his new surroundings when Mourinho threw him in at the deep end.
The Portuguese was not very impressed by how he did and told him so.
“I cannot remember which match we were playing, we were losing 3-1, away from home.”
“The following day, he [Mourinho] catches up with me, he takes me to his office.”
“He asks me if I am ok. I said yes, he asked me if I was sure.”
“I said yes again, he replied ‘Because you were rubbish this weekend.’”
“Like that, direct. It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond on the pitch.”
“I remember that it hurt me, that it affected me.”
“But I really wanted to show him that I could react.”
Zouma was subsequently farmed out on loan to gain some much needed Premier League experience.
Zouma though bears no ill-will to his then boss and the tactics he employed.
“Mourinho is someone who loves victory. He uses all the tools possible to achieve it.”
“I came here at 19 and he played me. I was able to have my chances, I played my matches.”
Apparently Jose still holds Kurt in high regard too.