After today’s drab draw at Stamford Bridge, managers Jose Mourinho and Sam Allardyce decided to send some barbs at each other and duke it through the press in their post match interviews. First up was Mourinho as he expressed his dissatisfaction with West Ham United’s style of ultra-defensive football.
Mourinho’s comments to Four Four Two:
“I just told the boys it is very difficult to play a football match when only one team wants to play. Football matches are about two teams playing and this match was only one team playing and the other team not playing.”
“I told ‘Big Sam’, and I repeat my words, they need points and because they need points to come here the way they did, is it acceptable? Maybe, yes. But at the same time I told (him) also, this is not the Premier League, this is not the best league in the world – this is football from the 19th Century.”
“Cheating – I don’t know if that’s the right word; pretending injuries, the goalkeeper winning time since the first minute. Not after 70 minutes, the first minute. Medical staff coming on, (players) kicking long balls to nobody, 10 defenders in the box. The defenders, they didn’t put one foot outside the box. It’s very basic.”
It is hard to argue against Mourinho as the Hammers did seem more content with hoofing the ball upfield all game and exaggerating injuries than attempting to play with Chelsea. This is something Chelsea has come to expect against smaller clubs at Stamford Bridge and is a strategy the Blues have even used on occasion. Mourinho backed off his earlier comments and said the following, “I cannot be too critical because if I was in this position I don’t know if I would do the same. Maybe, so I don’t want to criticise that”.
While Jose took his shots at West Ham, Sam Allardyce seemed more amused than perturbed by the Portuguese managers comments. He said in his post match interview that he knew Mourinho “can’t cope” with the fact that he had “out-tacticed” the Chelsea boss. Parking the bus or being ultra defensive is not exactly a revolutionary tactic but West Ham did show tremendous determination and Mourinho acknowledged that by saying “[West Ham] threw their bodies at the ball, they slid, they gave a lot, so my respect to their spirit and their effort but my team tried everything”.
The rest of Big Sam’s comments here:
“He can tell me all he wants, I don’t give a s***e to be honest with you. I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate him; Jose jumping up and down saying we play crap football. It’s brilliant when you get a result against him… so hard luck Jose!”
At least Allardyce showed the same awareness that Mourinho had and did not beat around the bush about what his team had set out to accomplish at the Stamford Bridge. They knew coming in they could not match Chelsea for talent and skill but they were equal to the Blues in grit and guile. It is also worth noting that Allardyce and Mourinho are friends or else this may have become the start of another managerial feud in the Premiership. It would be surprising for Mourinho to concern himself with the affairs of a team that seems set for relegation.
Video of the manager’s comments here:
To add insult to injury here is a lovely stat from today’s match:
39 – Chelsea had 39 shots tonight (incl. blocked shots); the most by any team who failed to score in the PL since 2003/04. Denied.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 29, 2014
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