Saturday 1 October 2016

Jose Mourinho: 'Maybe football will be a game without goals and we'll just enjoy people passing'

Chelsea boss rounds on critics with stirring defence of team's record

Matt Law

Published 28/04/2015 | 02:30

Chelsea's John Terry celebrates the draw after the game during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Chelsea's John Terry celebrates the draw after the game during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Jose Mourinho has launched a passionate defence of Chelsea's style by insisting his team play the best football in the Premier League and claiming fans will soon get bored of managers preaching "football from the moon."

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Chelsea manager Mourinho is confident he has the backing of owner Roman Abramovich, who personally congratulated the squad after their goalless draw against Arsenal.

Despite the fact Chelsea are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League table and can clinch the title with victories over Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Mourinho's team have faced accusations of being boring and pragmatic.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed defending is easy ahead of Sunday's game, while Gunners fans chanted "Boring, boring Chelsea".

Mourinho stood by his response that not winning the title for over 10 years is boring, revealing his Arsenal-supporting neighbour agrees with him, and hit out and rival managers and pundits who talk up the importance of possession.

"Style and flair. What is that?" said Mourinho. "The way people analyse style and flair is to take the goals out of the pitch. It's the football they play in the moon, and the surface is not good. Some holes, but no goals. It comes from you (press and pundits). Or some managers who can only teach their guys to keep the ball.

"Sometimes I ask myself about the future and maybe the future of football is a beautiful, green grass carpet without goals. In that beautiful grass pitch, the team with more ball possession wins the game. Because everyone speaks about teams playing fantastically well because 'my team had great ball possession'.

"'Oh, we build very well'. Good. It looks like the goals aren't there. You sometimes speak about boring and you conclude a team that scores as many as ours is boring, but not that a team with 70 per cent of the ball, but doesn't score isn't.

"When I am a granddad with grandsons, maybe football will be a game without goals and we'll just enjoy people passing the ball. Maybe putting the ball in the net is not the objective and stopping the goal from going in your own goal also doesn't matter.

"Football started a few centuries ago and the objective was one thing. Now it looks like the objective is another one. I'm very simple with my analysis. Football is about putting the ball in your opponents' net and keeping it out of your own.

"When football becomes without goals, you will say it's boring. You will say bring the goals back."

Abramovich's desire to see more entertaining football at Stamford Bridge contributed to Mourinho's departure at the end of his first Chelsea spell, but the Portuguese insists his boss is currently delighted by what he is seeing.

After watching Chelsea's draw with Arsenal from the Emirates stands, Abramovich visited the dressing-room and Mourinho said: "He is very happy. I saw him hugging the players after the game. I think he's happy and I think every Chelsea fan is happy if we win the title. If we win the title, we have a fantastic Premier League with everything."

Chelsea are the second-highest scorers in the Premier League, behind Manchester City, and are on course to set a new record for occupying top spot for the longest uninterrupted run.

Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Arsenal's Olivier Giroud in action during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London on Sunday (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Arsenal's Olivier Giroud in action during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London on Sunday (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

"It cannot be true that we are boring," said Mourinho. "If we are boring and if the number of goals is what decides if a team is good or bad, boring or not, then we have in the Premier League 18 teams who are more boring than us.

"In this criteria only Manchester City are a team with more quality than us, if football is about just the number of goals you score. This is a criteria I can accept - I don't want to discuss it - then City are the best team and Chelsea the second best.

"If a good team is the team with more points, we are the best team. If a good team is the team with most victories, we are the best team. If the best team are the side with fewest defeats, we are the best team. If the best team are the champions, not yet but the team that leads, we are the best team. If the best team is the side with fewest conceded, we are the second-best team.

"In any point of analysis, in any criteria you can find, we are the best team or the second-best team. So it's as simple as that.

"For me, the beautiful game is to go to every game and know exactly the way you have to play and what you have to do. On Sunday, we were brilliant. Brilliant. A game where we were brilliant from the first minute."

Chelsea captain John Terry is in full agreement with his manager and believes there is no point playing "tippy-tappy" football if it does not win the Premier League title.

"Possession is great, we could see that from the Manchester United game against us," said Terry.

"Possession and tippy-tappy football's great, but if you are not winning games, you're not going to win the league.

"We've dug deep and other teams haven't done, and that is why they are so far behind us. Let's not forget the first half of the season, up until Christmas, we were the best side by far.

"The football we played with Cesc Fabregas and his assists, the Andre Schurrle goal at Burnley and goals after that. The play was different class.

"Things then went against us and the manager, being him, came up with the way to get us through games and that's where he's at his best. Let's not forget we were the best side up until Christmas for sure and we have actually beaten the teams who have made things difficult for us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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