I smashed up Chelsea dressing room – only one thing stopped Jose Mourinho tear up

Wayne Bridge and Jose Mourinho at Chelsea
-Credit: (Image: JIM WATSOAFP via Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho once left a Chelsea star so angry that they smashed up the dressing room in retaliation.

Having won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup with the club, Mourinho is often revered by his former Blues players. But as you can imagine, not everyone was singing his praises.

One player he rubbed the wrong way was Wayne Bridge, who found his game time limited under the Special One. That was compounded when Ashley Cole was signed from Arsenal in the 2006 summer transfer window.

"I was playing really well at the time, and we were playing against Charlton," Bridge told Coral in 2020. "We were 1-0 up when they equalised and immediately afterwards my number came up and I was subbed off for Ashley. I knew then that my time at Chelsea was up."

The savage substitution was a bitter pill to swallow for the left-back, despite conceding that Cole is one of the best to ever do it in their position. His own emotions took hold and he almost sparked a "tear up" with Mourinho, saved by only one thing.

Bridge continued: "When Mourinho subbed me and Shaun Wright-Phillips off after 20 minutes, I came off and smashed the changing room up.

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"I was so angry and my pride had really been dented. The only reason I didn't have a tear up with Jose after the game was because we'd lost."

He would also grow frustrated with the new Fenerbahce boss' man-management, claiming he blew hot and cold and would sometimes not even communicate with those on the fringes of the squad for weeks on end.

"A week later I was back in the team. Jose does things differently to other managers and it could be difficult at times. He could be a tough person to play for," Bridge argued.

"When you were in favour with him it was great, but when you weren't you could feel like an outcast. It definitely felt like he had his favourites and there were times where you wouldn't speak to him for weeks."

Bridge saw his Chelsea career gradually decline from that season onwards and he ultimately left in the 2009 winter window, signing for Manchester City in search of more regular minutes. Mourinho, meanwhile, was long gone by that point, ending his first spell in charge by mutual consent in September 2007.