Mourinho Evolving His Coaching Philosophy

Jose Mourinho is in the midst of changing and tweaking his soccer style before our eyes. This new team he is building can unlock defenses, create and problem solve with the special players they have on attack. The quality of the Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Salah are unique. They all possess speed( both physical speed & speed of thought), have great technique, understand how to find soccer solutions on the field and can change the game by individual efforts. Under Jose previously Chelsea had great players but they were not in the mold of these guys. This is a unique group who can do special things. The old Mourinho teams played to a distinct style and punished teams on the counter with speed, power and skill. They possessed defensive team qualities that could keep any team Goalless. They would squeeze teams out of the attacking third, make them play horizontal and backward but never forward. Once the opposition made an errant pass or bad touch the counter was on at speed. But this team is different. Maybe a little less defensively inclined. Jose might be tweaking the way he lets this team play compared to his previous Chelsea teams. He is learning about them and realizing they are not what he originally thought they were. They didn’t start out defending to his standards but they may have shown some other positives instead. Mourinho core fundamentals will not change to much though. From players like Joe Cole and Matta he will always demand more on the defensive side to be an everyday Chelsea player. He likes to have a powerful strong forward up front because of the 4:2:3:1 system they usually play. The difference in the evolving new style might be subtle and will of course depend on the opposition. This new team is built more fluid with a more technical creative ability to unbalance teams. Even Ramirez is a more fluid mid than an Essien or Mikel. I am not saying better but maybe different. The 4231 system can be deployed in many ways and it takes on many shapes when shifting from defense to attack. In attack a 4231 shifts into a 3 3 1 3 when in full attacking shape. It is a very adaptable fluid system if you have the players. The coach will give the guidelines of how to play it and the players operate in those guidelines. Before Jose was stingy in defense against many opponents. Now I can see him still focusing on being a good defensive team but being more positive in attack with slightly more numbers committed forward. The counter attack will always be valuable but Chelsea will attempt to come out of their shell a little bit more in the coming months. Teams who sit in are very hard to break down so drawing them out at times is always very import. Sitting a little deeper and countering is classic Maourinho but now he’s evolving! I can see a Chelsea team that will have a strong, athletic and intelligent back four and an array of very hard working but talented attacking players. They will look to create a little more and rely less and less on the quick counter as the main source to beat teams. Maybe Jose got influenced by the pressing of Barcelona along with the individual abilities of Messi and Ronaldo in the way the can destroy the oppositions tactical plans. I know Real Madrid pressed heavily with Jose but it was different than what he did with Chelsea in a way. Not often did Chelsea fully press on the opponent like he had Real Madrid do. My point is I can see aggressive zonal defending and pressing when needed from Chelsea now. Add to that creative precise attacking and we have a team in progress that can win the league and European trophies as well! Pay close attention over the next couple months and see if you can see a difference in player selection and tactics at Chelsea under the new Jose.