The build-up for next week’s Chelsea/Barcelona Champions League tie gets better with each passing day. In today’s Guardian, the shy, retiring Jose Mourinho addresses claims that the playing conditions at Stamford Bridge are intentionally shitty.

Barça players believe the Blues would prefer a messy playing surface to give them the edge. Earlier this week, their former Arsenal left-back Silvinho said: “I have heard they are making the condition of their pitch worse. I played in England for two years and I have heard many complaints about the pitch.”

But while Mourinho admitted the Stamford Bridge pitch is particularly poor, he refuted any allegation of gamesmanship over the playing surface. “Only stupid people can think a team like Chelsea, with our quality of players, can be happy to have this pitch,” insisted the Blues manager.

“Barcelona can think what they want. Do we have no technical players? No skilful players? Just players who kick the ball and run. Arjen Robben, Damien Duff, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Frank Lampard. We have no technical players so we need a potato field, so we play in a potato field,” he added ironically. “Maybe you should ask Barcelona why they have so many injuries. They have a lot of knee problems. Maybe their pitch is too good.”