The beautiful game

There has been a lot of chatter about the style in which Chelsea managed to beat Liverpool on Sunday. Many (including Mourinho protege Brendan Rodgers) claiming that Chelsea were playing in a manner that somehow wasn't how football should be played. That the merits of playing attractive football are more important than the 3 points. In spite of the obvious flaw in this argument that people remember table positions rather than how it was achieved it's not the first time Chelsea an the happy/special one have been accused of 'anti-football'. Mourinho himself had a well documented hissy fit about another team 'parking the bus'. It should be noted that Mourinho possibly says things he doesn't necessarily believe in to deflect attention away from the team's performance (I still don't understand how opposition fans and managers can't see this and get sucked into the trap but that's another matter). Rodgers also claimed that coaching Defense was far easier. I don't know how true this is I don't know but it strikes me that drilling a team into a well organised defensive unit is just as hard as coaching them to break down such a well oiled machine or all teams would do it all the time.

To my mind (and others here I've seen from comments) this is ridiculous. There are two equally important aspects of football; Defense and Attack. How these are approached varies. Possession football, a la Barcelona, can address both and is one method, strangling the game and counter attacking is another.

Claiming that Chelsea are ruining football by adopting a 'negative' or defensive game is bad for football or a lesser form of the game, to my mind, is patently absurd. To illustrate the point let's apply the theory to other sports:

American Football

Teams are no longer allowed to coach or run defensive plays to counter the offense of the other team.


Break building becomes all important and snookers are banned. Ronnie O'Sullivan wins all tourneys forever with either hand.


Boxers are no longer allowed to guard or defend. It becomes an out and out slugfest. Boxers with longer reach are not allowed to use this to their advantage and keep other boxers at a distance using their jab, nor are boxers allowed to use their agility to win. Mohammed Ali never wins a boxing match.

Obviously these are 'slightly' exaggerated in order to make my point but to my mind coaching Defense is every bit as important and technically difficult as coaching Attack. Both are needed in order to win games.

Please feel few to discuss below.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any sort of approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions held by the editors of this site.

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