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Champions League: Is Ballack Right About Mourinho?

Wednesday night sees us take on Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan at the San Siro and Michael Ballack reckons it’ll be a toughie.

Ahead of the game the Chelsea midfielder says “We have unfortunately, as group winners, been given the toughest draw possible. But that doesn’t bother us – we are looking forward to it, also because the former manager Jose Mourinho is coming. He still knows us all very well and that gives this game a special explosiveness.”

Obviously one of our players who still has a lot of respect for his former boss, Ballack expects Mourinho to be pretty clued up for the game, stating “There won’t be any information that Mourinho doesn’t know about. He always knew everything about every opponent, every player and every tactic. He knows the players from his time here and only a few new ones have arrived, but the core of the team has remained the same. He gave us our style of play which has not changed over the last few years.”

I’m not sure I entirely agree with Ballack though. I mean, I agree Jose will definitely know all there is to know about our players, both from experience and from doing his homework but I don’t agree that our style of football hasn’t changed since his departure. For a start, Mourinho would have been more than happy (as would we at the time) to win with a 1-0 margin week-in-week-out. Do we sit back on that sort of scoreline these days? No, we don’t because it’s not what our current manager, Abramovich, or the supporters want to see. As a result, our full-backs get themselves into the sort of attacking areas Mourinho would have berated them for.

And whilst there’s been more departures than arrivals since he left, I think Abramovich would safely say he gets a bit more entertainment for his money these days – even if our defence of set-pieces does give him nightmares!



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


February 2010
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