Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho rounded on his critics ahead of his team's Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.
The Stamford Bridge boss was accused of playing defensively in the 2-0 Premier League win at Liverpool on Sunday.
But Mourinho is quoted as saying:
You know, at this moment, football is full of philosophers, people who understand much more than me, people with fantastic theories and philosophies.
It’s amazing. But the reality is always the reality. A team that doesn't defend well or doesn't score lots of goals, if they concede lots of goals, is completely in trouble. A team without balance is not a team.
When they have the ball, we have to try and stop them scoring. When we have the ball, we want to try and score. This is football, the football that I know.
I remember saying in my first period here, if you have a goalkeeper like Petr Cech who puts the ball in the opponents’ box, and a striker like Didier Drogba who wins everything in the air, why play short? Because you are stupid?
If your opponents are very fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid.
It seems that 10, 20, 30 years ago, when a team plays strategically, thinking about their team and the qualities of the opponent, it was ‘good, intelligent’ football. But now, at this moment, depending on the coach and the club obviously, the critics speak.
Mourinho received support from Atletico head coach Diego Simeone, according to Matt McGeehan for the Daily Mail.
Simeone is quoted as saying:
I'm a football man; I respect different ways of setting out your team.
You can play 10 at the back or you can play 10 at the front. It doesn't matter. What matters is the result.
It depends what you believe is the convenient way of playing and who you're playing against.
To defend well is not easy, so you have to congratulate a team that defends well.
To attack well is not easy either, so you have to congratulate also a team that goes on the attack.
It's important that, regardless of how you play, that the team wins, that the club wins, that the institution as a whole wins.
There is not one way of playing football. If we all played the same way it would be very boring.