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Joe Cole has lifted the lid on how Jose Mourinho transformed Chelsea from a "nice club" to a "horrible" one fixated on bitter rivalries with Liverpool and Manchester United.
Mourinho was first appointed Blues boss in 2004 and led the team to one of their most successful eras with five major honours in three seasons, including back-to-back Premier League titles.
His reign was also characterised by fierce top-flight competition with Manchester United and regular Champions League clashes with Liverpool.
And Cole recalls the first think on Mourinho's agenda when arriving at Stamford Bridge was to change the mentality in the dressing room.
Cole opened up on the transformation that took place under Mourinho
"We hated (Liverpool) and we hated Man United but that's what Jose made us. He made us horrible," the former Chelsea midfielder told Jamie Carragher's The Greatest Game podcast.
" Chelsea was a nice club before Jose, weren't it? We had a lovely players' bar, the lads would come and play us and have a nice night out in London.
"It was a nice football team, and he recognised that, Jose, and said 'I want to make these the (most horrible) bunch to play against and everyone's going to hate me.'
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"The manager spiced it up and we obliged."
Cole also recalled how cagey matches against Liverpool became as Mourinho and opposite number Rafael Benitez sought to outfox one another.
The former England international added: "( Liverpool ) were horrible play against, we were horrible to play against.
"They were c**p games though, Carra, weren't they? They must have been boring to watch because we were just cancelling each other out. The only person who would have enjoyed it was an Italian tactician.
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"I bloody hated them, there was no space, stop-start, it was horrible. I don't remember enjoying the games."
Mourinho's animosity did not just apply to the opposition, as he was also willing to ruthlessly tear into his players when they were not performing to his standards.
One such occasion took place in 2005 after Chelsea lost 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona.
"He always used to dig me out and he used to dig a few of the others out," said Cole.
"He had us in after we got beaten at the Nou Camp and he sat down and went through us one by one.
"[Mourinho said:] 'You think you're a top player? You froze at the Nou Camp you. You showed no balls. You're a French international, you're supposed to be good'.
"He went through and he absolutely crucified everyone. He came to me and I thought he'd do me a left hook, he came to me and Duffer (Damien Duff) and said, 'you two, ok.'"