Denmark coach Morten Olsen has hit out at the Special One, stating that he was ‘killing’ the spirit of the game, following Chelsea’s defensive tactics in their games against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.
Jose Mourinho has recently been subjected to a lot of criticism regarding his ‘brand of football’ at Chelsea which saw them line up defensively in most of their important games, with many critics accusing the manager of ‘parking the bus’.
Morten Olsen lashed out at the Chelsea manager, calling his style dangerous for the game in the long run, which according to him, will eventually kill the spirit of football.
“In my world Mourinho is a danger for football. If many try to copy his style, then the game will die.”
“Imagine if everybody played football like Mourinho. Then it would certainly be boring, and then I wouldn’t watch the matches.”
Mourinho was attacked for his defensive mentality, notably against Liverpool in the Premier League and Atletico Madrid in the La Liga, where he chose to sit back and defend instead of looking for a win. Brendan Rodgers was extremely critical after Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Anfield, accusing Mourinho of parking not just one, but two buses infront of the goal.
“There were probably two buses parked today instead of one.”
It was this attitude that came under criticism from Olsen who believes that given the amount of money that Chelsea has spent, Mourinho should be making better use of his players instead of organizing them defensively.
“I could play so differently with Chelsea, if I got the chance. But Mourinho is only able to play defensively. The club has spent so much money on so good players. Hell, use them then!”
Olsen believes that though it is normal to approach games wisely and in a calculating manner, he criticised Chelsea for lacking a game-plan while on the attack.
“Of course it is okay to be calculating. Now and then I also like to have the opportunity to play on the counter but there has to be a plan for how you play when you go on the attack. Such a plan has Guardiola. We also have it with the national team but Mourinho hasn’t.”
He criticised the manager for relying solely on set-pieces and on the individual abilities of his players to win games. Olsen even validated Hazard’s criticism of Mourinho’s style of football which had earned him the manager’s ire.
“He solely relies on set pieces, and then he hopes that Hazard or Willian can do something on their own. I certainly understand why Hazard criticized the way Chelsea played after the game.”
Mourinho had earlier defended his style of play, admitting that he had to play to get results in order to ensure that they qualified for the Champions League next season.
“At a certain moment of the season I made the decision to stop our evolution in style and philosophy of play and go the only way, with this team and these players, we could get results.”
“I felt we had no conditions to go as far as we did in the Champions League or in the Premier League if we didn’t transform our style of play.”
“There came a moment when I felt it was dangerous and that there was a big risk that we could be out of the top four.”
“If we hadn’t gone for a bit more stability and development of a certain philosophy, it was a big risk. So from that point the team became more strategical and less intuitive, because we went for results.”
He made it clear that Chelsea ran the risk of losing out on a top-four finish in the Premier League which prompted him to start playing ‘for results’, neglecting the club’s essential football philosophy.
The manager had continuously been asserting this season that Chelsea was not ready to compete for the title-race, calling the club a ‘little pony’ in comparison to Arsenal and Manchester City which were ‘full-grown horses’.
It now remains to be seen if Mourinho can grow out of this criticism and turn Chelsea into an efficient attacking unit. Even at Real Madrid, where he had 3 years to develop the squad, Mourinho often relied on counter-attacks to carry the team through. Hence they struggled quite openly against teams that sat back and suffered a miserable domestic campaign in his last season with the Galacticos. Having announced his intentions to sign a ‘killer striker’ in the coming transfer window, will the coming season see a resurgent Chelsea, capable of taking the game to the opponents? Or will Mourinho continue to ‘play for results’?