In-depth: Jose Mourinho has questioned those who value style over substance, opening up one of modern football’s most contentious debates.
Arsenal supporters chanted “boring, boring Chelsea” at the end of Sunday’s goalless draw at the Emirates which leaves Mourinho’s men 10 points clear and within two victories of the title. As he had on Sunday, Mourinho railed against the accusation that his side were boring, saying that “cannot be true”. And in a culture which increasingly fetishises possession, Mourinho re-established football’s traditional principles, in his own unique way.
“In any point of analysis in any criteria you can find, we are the best team or the second-best team. As simple as that,” the Portuguese said at a media conference to preview Wednesday night’s match against Leicester. “What is that? Style and flair? The way people now analyse style and flair is to take the goals out of the pitch. It’s the football they play on the moon, and the surface is not good. Some holes. But no goals.
“It looks like the goals are not there. Sometimes you speak about ‘boring’ and you consider boring a team that scores as many goals as we do, but you don’t consider boring a team that has 70 per cent of the ball possession and cannot win the game. It’s quite a big contradiction.
“I ask myself if in the future, when I am a granddad and I am at home with my grandsons, and maybe the future of football is a beautiful green grass carpet without goals.
Football started a few centuries ago and the objective was one, but now it looks like the objective is another one. “For me, I am very simple in my analysis. Football is about putting the ball in the net of your opponent and stopping your opponent. When football becomes without goals, you will say it’s boring. You will say bring the goals back.”