During a pre-match press conference, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone spoke about Chelsea FC’s defensive tactics in the first leg and revealed that he respects them unlike many of Jose Mourinho’s critics. Much of the press, and manager Brendan Rodgers, complain about Mourinho’s conservative tactics and accuse him of being negative and “anti-football” but Simeone seems to be more understanding. He acknowledged that not all teams will play the same way and some play more defensive than others. Basically not everyone can play like Liverpool and frankly not everyone wants to, especially Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.
Diego Simeone on Chelsea’s tactics with a nice compliment for the performance against Liverpool thrown in:
“I think there are different ways to win a match. You do whatever offers opportunity. If we all played the same way, it’d be boring. It’s beautiful when there are different approaches. To defend well is not easy. Neither is attacking. Football is a fluid game. Nobody has the absolute right answer. To go the English leaders, win 2-0, with so many players out… [we are facing] a super-competitive squad.”
The main issue most people have with Mourinho’s tactics is they consider them negative and boring which may be true but it’s also irrelevant. Mourinho has proved long ago that he is not interested in impressing the neutrals and that all he cares about is winning and getting the results he needs. If that means attacking and pressing like he did against Arsenal in the Premier League or being compact and direct against Atletico or Liverpool.
Diego Simeone shows the same kind of tactical flexibility that Mourinho does and that’s what makes him a fine young manager. Simeone will likely come to Stamford Bridge with a similar approach to Chelsea’s in the first leg, defend and attack on the counter to finish off the tie. Tomorrow’s match may not be the most exciting or explosive but the intensity will be hard to match anywhere else.
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