OpinionPaul McGrath

Title won't be once in a blue moon

John Terry
John Terry

The idea that the Chelsea team attempting to wrap up the Premier League title today are boring or uninspiring to watch is being promoted by begrudging critics who are jealous of Jose Mourinho’s success.

I just can’t get my head around the criticism that has been flowing in Chelsea’s direction as they have cruised towards the most comfortable title challenge you will ever see in the Premier League, with the sceptics fuelled by an agenda that is blurring their senses.

As regular readers of my Sunday World column will know, I have long been a big Chelsea supporter and I’ll be glued to my TV for the Crystal Palace game this afternoon cheering them on to a title success that is well deserved after a wonderful season from Mourinho and his players.

Let’s not forget the thrilling passing football Chelsea were producing before Christmas that inspired people to suggest they were capable of going through the whole season unbeaten and beating every team at home and in the Champions League on their way to complete domination.

Okay, that hasn’t quite panned out, but it was an unrealistic expectation for a team that has only really been together for 12 months after the signings of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas last summer gave them such a dynamic edge as they established themselves at the top of the table.

I’ve loved watching Chelsea play this season and while some of their football over the last few weeks has been less thrilling from an entertainment perspective, Mourinho’s ability to shut up shop and stopping opponents like Manchester United and Arsenal from playing is incredible to watch. No one can do it as well as he does.

Jose Mourinho

As I recall from my own playing days, forward players tend to get all the big headlines, but there is a skill in getting a draw on days when you are not at your best or when some of your best players are out injured.

Mourinho is brilliant at adapting his tactics to suit the occasion and maybe some people struggle to appreciate what a complete manager he is. He has different game plans, alternative ways to go about winning and in the end, he generally comes out on top.

Now, just as he is about to confirm his abilities as a tactical genius by winning the Premier League title again, some people are trying to pick holes in his success and I think that is down to soup grapes from people who wanted other teams to win.

How can you say a team featuring PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard, with a brilliant striker like Diego Costa and featuring classy players like Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic is boring? Come on guys, who are you kidding.

I can appreciate why Mourinho winds people up at times he gets on my nerves when comes out with some silly pronouncements from time to time. He can’t help himself when he is offered a chance to goad a rival and it doesn’t reflect well on him.

He was up to his old tricks again last weekend as he poked fun at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and suggested his failure to win the Premier League for a decade was what boring football was really all about. It was unnecessary, but that is the Mourinho way.

You know what you are going to get when you appoint this guy as your manager and you also know there is a very good chance you are going to end up with your team winning trophies because that is what he guarantees wherever he goes.

His latest Chelsea team are on their way to becoming is the complete package. They can turn on the style when things are going their way and then they can switch into a defensive mode when required, with John Terry a magnificent leader at the back on days when they revert to a counter-punching style.

Terry has been incredible this season. As a former defender myself, I can appreciate the qualities he has brought to the Chelsea team this season and while many people don’t like him for a variety of reasons, you can’t deny he is a wonderful footballer.

Diego Costa

In fact, you can’t really pick out anyone in what is a relatively slim Blues squad and say there are short on quality and for that, the manager deserves all the credit because Chelsea were a long way from winning the Premier League title when Mourinho arrived back at the club.

The opposition may have been pretty poor as Chelsea have romped away with the Premier League title race, but that should not diminish the scale of the achievement Mourinho should finish off with one last victory this afternoon.

Like any Chelsea supporter, I couldn’t care less if our rivals are annoyed by the success the Blues are set to enjoy in the coming years because in this game, you only remember the winners. 

In Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have the ultimate winner and today’s title success is just the start of a new era of winning for him at Stamford Bridge. His detractors better get used to it.