Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful coaches in the history of football. That is not debatable, it’s just a fact. Multiple league titles, Champions League wins and cup victories prove it. Only Pep Guardiola can rival the scale of his achievements with the length of time he’s been managing.
Mourinho has long been criticised for his supposed parking of the bus, a notion which is completely dumbfounded. Take the away game at Liverpool this season for example; Liverpool’s highly-lauded attack was easily shut down by a bit of defensive intelligence and the move was highly criticised. Is that how bad the standard of defending has become in this country? When you look in depth at the game, you could only really claim that Liverpool had two big chances, one of which went way over the bar. Mourinho’s “bus-parking” United had a big chance in that game as well. The game wasn’t particularly exciting, but let’s not forget that Jurgen Klopp took off Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutinho in that game.
The issue reared its ugly head again yesterday. The young ‘exciting’ coach Mauricio Pochettino faced off against ‘the enemy of football’ as he was christened by Oliver Holt, Jose Mourinho. All the focus in the build-up was on Tottenham missing Harry Kane through injury, and to some extent, fair enough. He’s proven himself to be the best striker in the league and would be a big miss to any team. What wasn’t recognised was how Mourinho was missing the most expensive player in British football history, Paul Pogba and one of the best strikers to ever lace up a pair of boots in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And that’s before you get to key midfielders Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini, and defender Marcos Rojo.
The game was cagey, but by no means dull. Two of the best defences facing off was never going to yield a goalscoring bonanza. Not every game of football has to feature seven or more goals to be exciting, this was a proper contest. One defensive lapse cost Tottenham the game as Romelu Lukaku flicked on for Anthony Martial to score. The match stats make for pretty even reading, and if you watched the game, especially the second half, United were decent value for the win.
But once again out came the vultures claiming Mourinho had been too defensive and destroyed another big game. What a farce. If pure attacking football is the way forward, why can’t it defeat a rigid defence? All of a sudden it’s escaped everyone’s mind the incredible goalscoring form that United started the season in. Liverpool’s heralded attack of pace and quality have netted 17 times this season, Tottenham’s genius mix of homegrown talent enhanced by class imports have scored 19 times this season. But what about Mourinho? Well his squad of bus parkers have notched up 23, whilst also having the league’s best defence, having not conceded a single goal at home.
You often see pundits come out and say they’d rather play for Jurgen Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino than Jose Mourinho, but why? They don’t attack better, evidently don’t defend better, and they don’t win as many trophies. Perceptions need changing.
I leave you with this tweet, one of the biggest sports betting companies questioning why a serial winner gets more votes for Coach of the year than someone who hasn’t won a single trophy in his managerial career.
When you see that José Mourinho received *54* more nominations for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach than Mauricio Pochettino.
— bet365 (@bet365) October 23, 2017
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