Tuesday 16 October 2018

Jose Mourinho's away record against the 'big six'

Jose Mourinho, pictured left, takes on Arsenal on Saturday
Jose Mourinho, pictured left, takes on Arsenal on Saturday

Jose Mourinho takes his Manchester United team to Arsenal on Saturday looking to improve on a dreadful recent record in away games against the Premier League's 'big six'.

In games between Arsenal, United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool, Mourinho has the worst away record of any manager since the start of 2015.

That takes in 11 such games for Mourinho, from which his United and Chelsea teams have taken only five points and scored four goals - three of those coming on New Year's Day 2015 when Chelsea lost 5-3 at Tottenham.

'Parking the bus'

Since Mourinho arrived at Old Trafford, his own contemptuous term for overly defensive play has frequently been used against him after a series of safety-first outings against United's rivals for the Champions League places.

And while that policy has been reasonably successful on home soil, with 11 points from six games, it has been a different story on the road, where United have scored only once - in a 2-1 defeat at Spurs last May - in seven games.

Even United's defensive record in those games has not shown the benefits, with nine goals conceded across four defeats to go with three goalless draws.

Recent development

Mourinho has enjoyed much greater success against the big clubs over his time in England as a whole, with 122 points from 68 games including 47 in 35 away from home.

He won half of his away 'big six' games in his dominant first spell at Chelsea and lost only two out of 12 in his second, though seven draws and only 11 goals scored showed the beginning of a shift in approach.

Among the current managers of the six teams, Mourinho's overall average of 1.34 points per game in these away trips is bettered only by Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp with 1.60.

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and Chelsea's Antonio Conte also average over a point per trip, with Arsene Wenger at 0.88 since Mourinho's initial arrival in England and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino lagging well behind on 0.53.

Five becomes six

Pochettino's arrival at Spurs after the 2013-14 season, and their subsequent emergence as a fully fledged member of the elite, made for stiffer competition at the top.

Mourinho's record reflects this shift - as does that of Wenger, with both managers markedly declining in the big games since then.

Their home records have not been too badly affected, Mourinho with 1.92 points per game compared to a career average of 2.27 while Wenger's average largely holds firm at 1.56.

But Mourinho's teams have won just one of 14 away and averaged 0.71 points per game, with their goal tallies making equally sorry reading.

Throughout Mourinho's Premier League career, his teams have both scored and conceded just under a goal a game - 0.97 - in away games against the big six. In the last three seasons, though, they have scored just 0.57 on average and conceded 1.43.

Wenger's Arsenal, meanwhile, have won only one of 18 such matches and averaged 0.56 points per game.

Press Association

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