Barney Ronay of The Guardian Defends Chelsea FC’s Tactics


Stamford Bridge-Fulham 2012-13

Barney Ronay of British newspaper The Guardian wrote a piece after Chelsea FC’s 2-0 win at Anfield called “Liverpool v Chelsea: Not anti-football from Mourinho, but simply football” where for once someone didn’t cry about the visitors’ tactics. The rest of the journalists in the UK, or so it seems, were ready for a Liverpool lovefest and a welcoming party for the Barclay’s Premier League trophy seemed devastated to see otherwise. Here are some of the highlights of Ronay’s article:

Ronay on Chelsea’s impressive recent defensive record:

“The fact remains Chelsea have failed to concede a goal in 180 minutes of football away from home in the past six days against the top teams in La Liga and the Premier League. In the process they have not only stopped three strikers with 90 goals this season between them from scoring, they have also limited Diego Costa, Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge to only one shot on target.”

On those who simply can’t appreciate a good defensive display in football:

“If you cannot see the beauty in that – beautiful defensive engineering, beautiful chutzpah – you may be watching the wrong sport.”

Thank you for the hilarious mental image of Demba Ba break dancing, also a resounding “LOL” for Steven Gerrard:

“The opening goal when it came was cruel. Steven Gerrard slipped and was left struggling on the floor as Demba Ba, who had up until that point played most of the half scrabbling on his backside like a man enthusiastically mastering the basics of break-dancing, carried the ball forward and slipped it expertly under Simon Mignolet.”

Ronay’s final thoughts to the critics of Mourinho’s tactics:

“In the end, Liverpool could not find another gear and foundered trying to unpick a performance of almost perverse defensive solidity. Do not call it anti-football: this was simply football.”

I suggest you read the article in its entirety but save yourself the trouble of reading the comments section. Thank you Barney Ronay, you lone voice of reason in a sea of dissent. Mourinho is a proven winner in four countries across Europe and has lifted the Champions League title twice but he still has more critics than fans. Maybe its his abrasive nature at times but thankfully some have seen the light.

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Tags: Barclay's Premier League Barney Ronay Chelsea FC Chelsea Football Club Jose Mourinho Liverpool The Guardian