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Sour Grapes Over Chelsea Double?

You knew it had to come really didn’t you? Because whatever Chelsea do, there’s a comment about it from Jose Mourinho somewhere, so it was inevitable the press would want to know what he thinks about our recent success without him.

Surprisingly enough though, the former Chelsea boss suggests he’s happy we’ve done the double, less surprising though is that any compliment from TSO has a back-handed undertone to it. Because whilst he says “People can write what they want. First of all, I’m happy Chelsea did it. I want it very clear I’m happy they won it”, he can’t help but add “They did what we did and we did what we did. They won after four years we won after 50. They scored more goals, we made more points. They went out of the Champions League at the last 16, we went out at the semi-finals. They won the FA Cup without playing one single big team, we won the Carling Cup beating Manchester United in the semi-finals and Liverpool in the final. Their shirt was blue our shirt was blue. Different times, different opponents, success. And for Chelsea, that is what matters.”

God forbid he should give Carlo Ancelotti any credit at all and he clearly has no intention of doing so because he goes on “Please don’t compare this Man United with my Man United. Don’t compare this Arsenal with my Arsenal. My Arsenal was a team that won the league without one defeat in 2003-4. Don’t compare this Liverpool with my Liverpool. And don’t compare this Premiership with my Premiership. Don’t compare because you cannot compare.”

And why exactly can’t we compare oh Lord and Master of Football? Well, Mourinho explains “Arsenal won it in an incredible way and after that they thought they could win in a different way. They cannot win it in a different way. Either they go back to where they were or they don’t do it. Man United lost Ronaldo. Okay, the coach is a tremendous coach, the team is full of great players, but Ronaldo is Ronaldo, and he scores 30 goals a season. Ronaldo wins points and points and points. When a club and the league loses a player like Ronaldo it loses a lot. Liverpool is an incredible phenomenon. From 2004 to 2010 it looks like the team instead of improving is getting worse. Tottenham is coming, Aston Villa is coming, Man City is coming, but I think that magic of a fight of titans, all of them very, very strong in the top of the League, I don’t see this season was like this.”

Ok, so let’s have a look at his arguments shall we? For a start, the ‘incredible’ Arsenal side Mourinho refers to had indeed gone the season before without losing a game although to be fair, overall they only actually won two more games than us over the entire season. They might have followed up in the 2004/05 season still scoring more goals than us but our defence, Arsenal’s 5 defeats and the £70 million on top of what Claudio Ranieri had already spent obviously shaded it for us. As for United, well it was a pretty poor Manchester United side that scored 58 goals that season whilst Liverpool finished outside the Champions League placings in the league.

Onto 2005/06 and that great Arsenal side was now 24 points away from top spot. United matched us for goals scored but again with 12 less conceded, you’d have to say it came down to our defence rather than Cristiano’s contribution for them. In fact, with regards to his argument about Ronaldo, I’m really not buying it. You see in 2004/05 he scored 5 league goals in 33 appearances. With the same number of appearances in the 2005/06 season, he’d bagged 9. Even in the 2006/07 season when Mourinho failed to win a third title, the Portuguese striker had still only climbed to 17 goals. So it wasn’t actually until after Mourinho’s departure that Cristiano Ronaldo hit 31 league goals in a season. In contrast, Wayne Rooney managed 26 goals in 32 games for United in 2009/10, more than Ronaldo and Tevez combined (18 and 5) the previous season.

Of course we all know Liverpool have been pretty pants, and last season was pretty hard to beat in terms of how abysmal they were but then he admits himself they’ve been on the decline since 2004, so I’m not even sure why he included them to back his claims. Spurs, City and Villa were worth including although I’d be suggesting that the 2009/10 season saw much stronger challenges from all three of those clubs than Jose Mourinho ever came across.

It was an unusual season, I won’t argue that. There were some odd and unexpected results but they were pretty much across the board with us and our rivals having the odd blip, so to try an insinuate that our double winning season was anything other than a real success for either the club or the new manager, or that it somehow pales into insignificance compared to the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons, in my opinion Mr Mourinho, is simply sour grapes.

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May 2010
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