José Mourinho deconstructed: what we learned from his Chelsea team

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José Mourinho deconstructed: what we learned from his Chelsea team
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The obvious subtext to José Mourinho's selection of that revolving four-man attack – a headless octopus of a thing, all arms and legs but no teeth, no decisive spurt of Wazza-like toxic ink – was that it was an act of grand-scale Rooney-seduction. This was the tactical equivalent of the rose between the teeth, the scented cushion, the carelessly tossed fronds of greying bouffant. Except, of course, not even Mourinho could set his team out like that in a game like this with such arch and knowing intent. Probably. Certainly, managers have done this kind of thing before. Roberto Mancini wasn't above making a point to those in charge of acquisitions. Harry Redknapp picked two substitute goalkeepers against Manchester City last season, thereby ramping up his own down-to-the bare bones hard luck story. But surely not here, not now, not this early. Maybe. Perhaps. Da da dum. Oh Wayne. You … complete me.

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