EPL: What's so special?

EPL: What's so special?
Chelsea under manager Jose Mourinho (above) have become so boring to watch recently.

PAUL PARKER

npsports@sph.com.sg

Jose Mourinho has been touted as a tactical genius but, if you ask me, he's a massive hypocrite.

The Chelsea boss accused Sam Allardyce's West Ham of playing 19th-century football in January when the Hammers held the Blues to a 0-0 draw by defending deep and wasted time by feigning injuries.

Mourinho said then: "This is football from the 19th century. This is not the Premier League. This is not the best league in the world... the only thing I could use was a Black and Decker to destroy the (West Ham) wall."

Who is he to cricitise Big Sam after he employed the same tactics against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash, and against Liverpool in the Premier League last weekend?

People hail Mourinho as a genius for his so-called "tactics" and I don't know why.

Managers whom I consider tactically shrewd are Tony Pulis, who has done a good job with teams like Crystal Palace and Stoke City, and Roberto Martinez, who had led Everton to challenge for a Champions League spot.

I think Mourinho ordered his players to defend so deep in their own half because of two things - he's scared of getting beaten and he's compensating for John Terry's absence.

Terry's injury from the first leg against Atletico made him push the panic button and play so defensively against Liverpool.

I feel sorry for Chelsea fans who spent good money to watch their team play absolutely boring football.

Let's face it, Mourinho hasn't learnt to accept losing with dignity, so he resorted to tactics that involve putting six defenders in front of goal.

Because of his huge ego, he will never admit it when he makes a mistake.

LIKE ROBOTS

He has millions of pounds worth of attacking options at his disposal, but he has brainwashed them into playing like robots.

Why was his best attacking player, Eden Hazard, tasked to play like a defender?

The Belgian's outburst after the Blues crashed out of Europe is a clear sign that he doesn't agree with Mourinho's tactics.

Barcelona have never asked Lionel Messi to track back because his job isn't to defend, but to run at defenders and score goals.

Mourinho has stifled the creativity of his players and effectively stopped them from expressing themselves on the pitch.

Yes, he has been winning games, but it's not entertaining to watch at all.

I can guarantee you that teams in the Championship play more entertaining football, because the players will lay themselves on the line to entertain the fans.

Mourinho is a good Premier League manager because he gets the results, and that's why Roman Abramovich is sticking with him.

EASY WAY

But Chelsea are winning games by taking the easy way out - destroying the opponents' way of playing.

It's the ability to let your players express themselves on the pitch that is priceless.

And it's what the fans want to see.

Let's see what Mourinho comes up with against Norwich tonight.

Is he going to put Oscar and Hazard to good use?

Or is he going to use Frank Lampard, Jon Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic to protect the back four?

Whoever Mourinho fields, the outcome will be the same - frustrated players dishing out boring football.

This article was published on May 4 in The New Paper.

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