Jose Mourinho says that it is an incredible change of perception in England to view a defensive style of football as an art.
The manager was criticised heavily during his time at Chelsea for the defensive approach adopted by his teams. Mourinho’s teams are often criticised for being too defensive. However, the Portuguese says that this style of football has now become an art with many teams practice in the same style being praised this season. The Chelsea team under Antonio Conte happens to be one of the best examples.
After conceding quite a lot of goals in the first few games of the season, Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation after the 3-0 loss against Arsenal. Since then, the team has been highly pragmatic in their approach. Now, Chelsea have one of the best defensive records in the divisionwith 17 goals conceded in the 24 league matches.
Only Tottenham have conceded fewer goals than Chelsea, but the blues have been able to run to the top of the table as a result of this brilliant record. It is not a coincidence that the Premier League outfit have been able to build a huge advantage over the rest of the competition. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United also have a good defensive record with only 21 goals conceded – the third best in the division.
“My team is playing very well. But for many, many years in my career – especially in this country when my teams were ruthless and when my teams were phenomenal defensively and very good on the counter-attack – I listened, week after week, how that was not enough in spite of winning the title three times. It looks like, this season, to be phenomenal defensively and in counter-attack is art, so it is a big change in England,” said Mourinho.