Releasing The Beast
I'm fed up. I'm irritable. As a weeks annual leave comes to a close, I'm losing pati...
I'm fed up. I'm irritable. As a weeks annual leave comes to a close, I'm losing patience with the 'keep calm and carry on' approach. Something needs to change; and before the blind Mourinho lovers come out with all guns blazing, I again state clearly where I stand. I am a Jose Mourinho supporter. But I draw a distinction between blind allegiance and an open relationship that has room for honesty and constructive criticism. As one fan eloquently and so rightly put it in a Tweet I read over the weekend, just because he expresses an honest opinion which is contrary to the blind faith brigade, doesn't mean he isn't a true fan or is a plastic fan. Well said sir.
Prior to Saturday's capitulation to Liverpool, I had sensed a change in the camp. Got that one wrong didn't I ? What was served up was a performance riddled with caution and fear. Yes, we took the game to Liverpool in the opening 10 minutes or so, but once we had taken the lead, it was clear - so depressingly clear - that our intention was to sit back, concede possession and hit them on the break. Got that one wrong Jose, didn't you? It might have worked brilliantly when we had the Cech, Terry, Lampard, Drogba axis functioning in their prime, but not now. As I watched the story unfold the ending was never in doubt. DON'T tell me Jose, that the game rested on key decisions that went against us in the match. DON'T tell me that we are not getting what we deserve. Even if you are throwing up the dreaded smoke screens to deflect pressure, I'm tired and bored of it. It was your tactics that lost us that game and not much else. We were well beaten by frankly, an average team, that if we had been anything like nearing our true levels, we could have disposed of with relative ease.
I'm fed up with centre halves playing at right back. I'm fed up with signing full backs for millions and then not playing them. I'm fed up with declarations that it is time to blend in the youth and then yanking off a very promising young player at half time because he doesn't quite follow instructions. He's young Jose, but if he's good enough, he won't learn with another period in the reserves. I'm fed up with frankly, unprofessional and appalling post match interviews - Saturday's was the limit - that insult my intelligence and bring a bad name to the club. Yes, Jose, the fans aren't stupid, so don't act like they are. I'm fed up with faith in a striker who was blistering for half a season last year, but who isn't cutting it this time out. Loic Remy's strike rate is very good considering he gets so few starts. He deserves a run in the team. I could go on, but I'm feeling a little better - only a little though. I'm fed up with safety first tactics - we have some players who are capable of producing some sustained attacking football, but who are scared to express themselves - for the sake of our sanity and theirs Jose, release them from the shackles.
There - I've said it. I could offset the above by producing a list of Jose' s achievements, stating again that he is the world's best manager, and leaving it at that. Problem is Jose, you are right in the brown stuff at the moment and I don't care what you've achieved before, it's what you do now that matters. And whilst we're on it, please don't tell me that this crisis is nothing compared to previous Chelsea eras and that it will all come good. I know that - I lived through those depressing years and I have that perspective. But we need a fresh approach from a manager who has previously demonstrated that he can adapt to different and challenging situations in a game situation. Another change of approach is needed now, but this time, an infinitely more far reaching one that is bold, brash and full of personality. Those qualities sound familiar Jose? Then draw upon them, adapt and change. You say you don't fear losing your job? Then don't set up your teams in a way that suggests the opposite. It might just be that the next stage in your development as a coach, is to allow a greater freedom in your teams, and for the risk averse brand of football to be given less priority. There is a place for everything, and a time to shut up shop and protect what we have; now it's a time for some boldness.