Chelsea: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Jose Mourinho was 'never the special one'

By Ciaran VarleyBBC Sport
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink shares the highs and lows from his time at Chelsea
Listen to Kammy & Ben's Proper Football podcast with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on BBC Sounds

Burton Albion manager and former striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Jose Mourinho should have kept him at Chelsea in the latest episode of Kammy and Ben's Proper Football podcast.

The 50-year-old Dutchman, who played as a forward for Leeds United, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City, appeared on this week's podcast with Chris Kamara and Ben Shephard.

And he held forth on a number of topics.

Hasselbaink was the Premier League's top scorer in 1998-99 and 2000-01 and equalled an English record transfer fee when he joined Chelsea. He believes that he was unfairly sidelined when Mourinho joined in 2004.

In the podcast, Hasselbaink revealed lots about himself, including how tough he found it to adjust to English drinking culture when he first arrived at Leeds and how football saved him from gang life. He even revealed that his real name is actually Jerrel.

Here are just a few more takeaways from the conversation between Hasselbaink, Kamara and Shephard.

1. 'New owners came in - that's when the relationship with me and Ranieri went a little bit sour'

Hasselbaink and Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri celebrate on the touchline
Hasselbaink describes Claudio Ranieri edging him towards the exit when Chelsea got new owners in 2003

Hasselbaink joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in July 2000 for £15m. At the time, it equalled the Premier League transfer fee set by Newcastle United when they signed Alan Shearer in 1996.

The Dutchman played under Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea. He was also at the West London club at the time when Roman Abramovich took over as owner in 2003.

"That was where the relationship with me and Ranieri went a little bit sour," Hasselbaink says.

"All of a sudden he (Ranieri) had a lot of money to spend. He called me and Eidur Gudjohnsen into his office. He said, 'I'm going to bring in two new strikers - you guys can go if you want'."

Ranieri brought in both Adrian Mutu and Argentine legend Hernan Crespo. Nevertheless, Hasselbaink says he told Ranieri that he wanted to stay and fight for his place.

"In the end, I played anyway and I became top scorer," he says.

Hasselbaink recalls that period in terms of the number of incoming signings.

"We had Crespo coming in, Mutu, Sebastian Veron, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Wayne Bridge… Every day, there was someone else. What do you do? Either you be a mouse and be quiet and already defeated, or you stand up and have a go. You look in the mirror and see a lion, rather than a pussycat."

2. 'He was never the special one for me' - on why Mourinho shouldn't have let him go

Jose Mourinho, 2005
Hasselbaink feels he should have been given a chance at Chelsea by Jose Mourinho

When a young, much-hyped Portuguese manager called Jose Mourinho took over at Chelsea in 2004, Hasselbaink's time was up. He was sent to Middlesbrough on a free transfer.

Hasselbaink says he had no say and wasn't pleased.

"I was absolutely gutted," Hasselbaink says. "More gutted because Mourinho never spoke to me."

He believes there was outside influence on Mourinho's decision.

"I bet you that Mourinho had been told that I was a difficult lad," Hasselbaink says, "hard to work with and all that kind of stuff - which was not the case at all."

Under Mourinho over the next three seasons, Chelsea became a dominant force, winning two Premier League titles, two League Cups, the FA Cup and a Community Shield.

Meanwhile, Hasselbaink continued to be a high scorer for Middlesbrough over the next two seasons.

He believes, though, that he was robbed of an opportunity to get silverware with Chelsea.

"They got Drogba - what a signing - but surely I could have featured alongside him. I've spoken to Mourinho, he said, 'yes, I made a mistake there.' I don't care what he said. He should have kept me and I would have had a medal."

Asked whether he believes that Mourinho is 'the special one', as the man himself famously claimed on arrival in West London, Hasselbaink disagrees.

"He's a brilliant coach, absolutely magnificent what he's done in football, but he was never the special one for me."

3. 'You could see his leadership quality already' - on playing with Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate of Middlesbrough chases Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink with the ball for Chelsea
Hasselbaink spoke about Southgate having an 'aura' in the dressing room

At Middlesbrough, Hasselbaink played alongside current England national team manager, Gareth Southgate.

Hasselbaink says that, even then, Southgate showed the qualities to go on and be a good manager.

"He was always thinking further, trying to understand the tactical side of the game, trying to put people in the right place. He had that leadership quality already."

Hasselbaink himself manages Burton Albion in League One and has also managed Royal Antwerp, Queen's Park Rangers and Northampton Town. He describes Southgate as a player who didn't need to shout in order to command respect.

"He understands his players and that's what you want as a player."

4. 'We should have won that World Cup' - on France '98

Philip Cocu of the Netherlands walks back to his team after missing the second penalty for the Dutch team in the semi-final shoot-out
Hasselbaink says that the Dutch 'have an issue with penalties'. Sound familiar, England fans?

In 1998, Hasselbaink was called up to the Netherlands side for the World Cup in France.

The Dutch made it to the semi-finals before losing out to Brazil on penalties. They had a team littered with stars, including Dennis Bergkamp, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf, Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam and the De Boer brothers.

Hasselbaink recounts that one of France's tournament winners that year, Marcel Desailly, told him: "Jimmy, we didn't want to play you guys. We wanted Brazil, because we felt we had a chance against Brazil."

"We should have won that World Cup," says Hasselbaink. "We were the best team, but the best team doesn't always win."

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