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Mourinho's 'Genius' A Myth?

It's little wonder that fans across the globe are beginning to question the increasingly bi-polar, Jose Mourinho, at Chelsea. The Portuguese’s frequent use of the ‘park the bus’ defensive tactic has perhaps shattered the myth that somehow he is world football’s master tactician.

Indeed, Mourinho’s philosophy is the nearest thing to ‘anti-football’ seen in modern times. It is a reaction to the super expansive styles of play seen in Europe’s major football capitals.

In its own way – it is a revolutionary approach. This is an era of the game in which maintaining possession is king – Bayern Munich’s experimentation with Tiki-taka under Pep Guardiola is a clear sign of this. Yet, Mourinho’s radical non-possession style is the the direct opposite. It is a horribly practical but brutally negative way to play.

For many Real Madrid fans, it was the club’s greatest sin to once appoint Mourinho. The anti-football exponent in charge of a team built on the principles of a total passing game. The truth is he was arguably brought in to win and to break the dominance of Barcelona.

He achieved this goal yet he was never loved at the Bernabeu – his departure to Chelsea was met with largely a muted silence. He got results but he never did it the 'Real' way.

Mourinho’s anti-football philosophy was later brutally exposed by Spanish journalist, Diego Torres, who followed him closely when he was in Spain.  

Mourinho's preached this seven-point plan when it came to big games, “1.The game is won by the team who commits fewer errors. 2. Football favours whoever provokes more errors in the opposition. 3. Away from home, instead of trying to be superior to the opposition, it's better to encourage their mistakes. 4. Whoever has the ball is more likely to make a mistake. 5. Whoever renounces possession reduces the possibility of making a mistake. 6. Whoever has the ball has fear. 7. Whoever does not have it is thereby stronger.” 

It's largely this approach that Mourinho used in 2013/14 at Chelsea for some of the club's bigger games. It achieved mixed results as the club won nothing.  

In an age in which Spanish Tiki-taka has won the hearts of millions across the planet, and in a time when Luiz Scolari's Brazil are playing with such pace, power and attacking intent, Mourinho's defensive philosophy seems as unromantic and unappealing as conceivably imaginable on the world stage.  

He does not set out to play the beautiful game. He simply plays to win. From this point of view, perhaps his legacy will be that he will be remembered by his numbers in the wins and losses column. Not for the joy he brought people. 

Have your say - Is Mourinho really a coaching genius? Or, does he simply 'park the bus'?


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