Chelsea, despite winning at Anfield yesterday, have taken quite a beating; on Twitter, on various websites, and even within national newspapers, Jose Mourinho has been taken to task for his approach against Liverpool and a lot of people are saying whatever they can to diminish the victory.
“(I’m) Saddened by the fact a club with Chelsea’s resources felt the only way they could win such a high profile contest that showcased the English game throughout the world was by cheating.
And it was cheating, because the time-wasting antics they produced from the very first minute were against both the rules and the spirit of the game.”
That was from David Maddock’s article in The Mirror today, and it’s representative of a lot of other similar opinions that I’ve read within the last twenty-four hours. It’s a diversification of the ‘parking the bus’ grievance, and obviously it’s not the first time it’s been used.
I don’t know whether David Maddock is a Liverpool fan or whether he lost a lot of money on yesterday’s result, but his article is over-emotional and could have been boiled down to a single sentence about how terribly unfair yesterday was and how Jose Mourinho and his players should be banned from football for ever and ever and ever.
Really, it’s that childish - quoting the rulebook like a teenager? Come on, put the big boy trousers on and deal with it.
Liverpool fans aren’t responsible for this because they are by no means the first set of supporters to get bent out of shape after losing a game they expected to win, but it’s amazing how often this argument is used and how frequently an attempt is made to asterisk a result on moral grounds.
What Chelsea spend and how they choose to play are not related. The referee is responsible for curtailing the amount of time-wasting which occurs within a game. It is not ‘anti-football’ to adopt a cautious gameplan when facing a side with significant attacking power. Teams do not owe each other the opportunity to play expansive football, and neither are they conventionally obliged to cater to their opponent’s style.
Those are just facts which need to be accepted.
Given that Liverpool only really needed a point yesterday - and Chelsea spent most of the game playing for one - shouldn’t the focus really be on how Brendan Rodgers managed to take nothing against such an unambitious opponent? Liverpool lost because they made mistakes and because their shape deviated from its - successful - norm during the second-half. They lost their structure and they increasingly made Chelsea’s job easier as the afternoon progressed.
Nevertheless, this ‘it’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair’ response to these kind of results makes nobody look particularly good.
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