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Football Makes You Learn….

the emirates stadium

Written by armourysquare.

Jose Mourinho is indeed an unique manager.  Although his team plays some of the most boring football on the planet, (well” boring ” is a mild term which we can use to describe them), yet the guy manages to win trophies. So what is it about Mourinho that I admire. Well actually, the only thing one can admire about him is that “The guy gets the job done.” Probably if you are a Real Madrid fan you would have noticed something different about the team this season…

Look at this stat. Real Madrid, last season i.e the 2009-2010 season had conceded 48 goals in all competitions. In other words they played 48 games and conceded 48 goals. So simply putting it, they concede 1 goal every game. This season under Mourinho they have played currently 7 games and have concede only 1 goal. So logically it they were to play 48 games , keeping to this trend they would concede about 7 goals all season. Now considering tough matches in the champions League and la Liga lets add another 9 goals to that. The total comes to 16…3 times less than that of the total goals conceded. ’1/3 rd less.’ So what has this guy done. In a nut-shell, he has made Madrid’s defense rock solid. Simply putting it,  it would be an achievement for teams to score against them.

“The team was solid at the back and we have conceded just one goal in six games. (Iker) Casillas only had one save to make, however, if you don’t score you don’t win.”

Secondly,  consider Mourinho’s  home record. It stands, according to wikipedia as on 21st Sept, 2010 at about 138 games. 138 games unbeaten at home. So in other words, in the HOME category under the loss column in the league table there has always been, upto today, a ’0′. But,surprisingly, the guy does not give a crap about this majestic record…

“I do not do anything to keep this record. In many games, my teams have been tied and I have had to take risks to win. In a championship, it is better to win five and lose one rather than draw five. I do not want records, I want points.

“If tomorrow we are drawing 0-0 with a few minutes to go, I will ask my team to take risks to win.”

Now assuming that we believe him and that he is honest, his ability to maintain such a record is absolutely majestic and is seriously worth applauding. Now lets come to the main theme of my article:

Why did we lose at Stamford Bridge ? It’s not that Chelsea played better than us. It’s not because we suck. And it’s not because their team is miles ahead of us. It’s because of the defense. Where is our defense against top-teams, I have no ******g clue. Now please understand my point here. When I say “Where is our defense”, I do not mean that they overall played badly, but rather amount of opportunities they gave Chelsea to test them. I mean, 1 long-ball from Terry had put Malouda through with Fabianski. We saw the match between Inter and Barca at the Nou Camp. Barcelona did whatever they could do, but their threat to Cesar was completely neutralised by Inter’s defense. That is how a defense should be set-up. Even at Stamford Bridge, when Inter took on Chelsea, I lost count of the amount of times Chelsea bombarded Inter in the last 5 mins of the 1st half, but did that defense ever look like it was going to break down? But credit to us for taking Chelsea head-on at the Bridge. Not many teams do that you know…

At Sunday’s match however, there was 1 prick who really pissed me off. Alex Song is the main reason why Chelsea could attack us so much. The basic “Makalele” role does not even come to the git. So, what was he supposed to do?

Just sit in front of the back four & Protect them. And if either of the full-backs make over-lapping/ advancing runs, protect their ‘zones.’ He may have been fouled or whatever, but throughout the game the guy just never consolidated the defense. Ashley Cole did sneak-in a few brilliant runs behind him, and if it was not for Squillaci’s fast thinking which played the ‘ex-gunner’ offside, we would have another goal inside Fabianski’s net. The guy continuously played the ball to Sagna on the right, and “jogged up.” Whats the point in assigning you a position if you don’t even stick to it for crying out loud.

Chelsea had only 1 game plan – to counter attack. Now if Sagna goes up and Diaby and Wilshere are left up-field along with Nasri, Chamakh and Arshavin, that leaves 3 defenders and Song (supposedly) behind. Now when they counter-attack, because our blonde African is busy chatting with Ramires, we are left with 2 defenders to deal with a fast-powerful counter-attacking Chelsea side which includes Drogba, Anelka & Malouda… ‘Not too much of a problem, is it ?’

Now, speaking about defenders, Kosher, in my opinion has to bulk up. It’s not that he s a bad defender, but the league in which he plays demands a bit of bulk and strength. Vermaelen is an exception to this category. The guy does not look that bulky, but is ******g strong. Kosher did have a nice match overall, but he did get over-powered by “The Drog” quite easily in the 34th minute. (the time when LF pulled out his first save of the day..) Sadly, this is also not the first case in which he was nudged away this season, remember Diouf at Ewood Park..

Ever noticed Valencia when he first signed for Manchester Utd. He was lean, but 3 months later, he became ‘bigger.’ This strength attribute helps, as the players can out-muscle others on the pitch. Some players, who have this attribute are Drogba, Valencia, Rooney, Essien,Vidic.  Defenders can use it to win aerial balls, and out-field players can use it to nudge others out of their way. Now, it ain’t beautiful, but that’s football for you.

We didn’t play badly on Sunday. I mean, yes, we did not take our chances but our performance was not that bad. I mean upto the 60th min from half-time, I did not see much of Fabianski, except for the Anelka incident. That too was Squillaci’s fault. On Squillaci I must comment that the guy is a good CB. Yes , he made a howler with Anelka, but his performance overall was not bad.

Lastly I would want to conclude by saying that Arsenal are a top team, and in no way should we look down on ourselves just because we lost to Chelsea. In Football one learns many things. The only thing we should learn is “How to win Ugly.” Chelsea and Manchester Utd are good teachers in that category, and so is any team managed by Mourinho. Once we know that, our Football education will be complete. Remember Fulham at Craven cottage last season,(yeah the one in which Mannone when crazy) that was an example of “Arsenal winning ugly.” You will never hear Gooners moan about ‘we should have played beautiful football’. 3 points in the bag, “Done and Dusted.”

Now it may not sound very good to hear, but I think a mark of ‘Champions’ is also to ‘win ugly’ & the faster we know this, the better for us.

So Cheers & never lose faith,


PS: I have not calculated Madrid’s 6-1 drubbing of Deportivo last Sunday, and thus this is not included in the Madrid stat I stated above.

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