Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics in recent games have caused quite a stir in the footballing world. Mourinho is a manager who almost craves the attention of the media, and therefore, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that his tactics have garnered such a reaction from the media. Indeed his tactics seem to be the most discussed topic in football, certainly in Britain.
Brendan Rodger’s immediate reaction to Liverpool’s defeat against Chelsea last Sunday was paramount to labelling Chelsea and Jose Mourinho as anti-football.
He accused Chelsea of “parking two buses”, “time wasting” and having “ten players behind (the ball) from the first minute”.
Rodgers also appeared to criticise Mourinho personally by saying, “He will probably shove his CV and say it works but it’s not my way of working… I like to take the initiative in games and let players express themselves”.
Arjen Robben stated after Bayern Munich’s mauling by Real Madrid that he would not be watching Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid, stating that the first leg had “nothing to do with football”.
In spite of all this criticism, the most worrying development in the past week for the Blues has been the apparent fall out between Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard.
Whilst Mourinho believed the comments were taken out of context, he still responded with rather harsh words by saying, Hazard “is not the kind of player willing to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team”.
With PSG apparently more than interested in Hazard, these were quite brave words from the Portuguese.
But these words again demonstrate that Mourinho believes his whole squad should buy into his philosophy, and way of playing. He has an unyielding belief that his way is the right way. He is certainly willing to sacrifice any player who shows any descent. Just look at the way he so unceremoniously dropped Iker Casillas at Real Madrid.
Put bluntly, Jose Mourinho is a manager whose chief concern is to play matches by numbers and statistics. He is a not a manager with an ideal of playing the game. If there is any ideal to Mourinho’s football it is to make fewer mistakes than the opposition. This is a style of football bound for criticism.
The results Mourinho’s sides get do appear to validate his approach somewhat. Despite the fact that Chelsea will probably finish this season without a trophy – making it two years without a trophy for Jose – you cannot argue with Jose Mourinho’s success and managerial record.
Jose Mourinho’s tactics and managerial style are certainly not for everyone. He certainly can be arrogant, self-centred and disrespectful. His tactics can be dull and boring. Still, people should not be so hasty in their criticism of him; His record speaks for itself. There are not many clubs in world football that would refuse his services.