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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 2 Bradford City 4

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I'm well aware of what Mourinho is 'on record' as saying. I also seem to recall him not being best impressed with the smaller squad in 2006/07, and that squad indeed proving to play a big part in his departure.

Anyone who thinks any manager prefers to not have plenty of useable players is, simply put, wrong. Perhaps Mourinho prefers 22 to players to 30-odd. Is anyone going to seriously argue that Mourinho's preference is to have a squad of 17 or so? Because that it was what we effectively have.

This is a very good point and I think something that people are skating over. Jose no longer has complete control over transfers, if you look at what has actually been said then it looks like the signing that were actually his in the past 13 months were Matic, Cesc, Costa and Drogba, the others seem to have been a combination of committee signings (of which he is admittedly apart of but not entirely). As for the numbers in the squad this has been a problem long before Jose and as you said was what caused him to leave in the first place; so the squad numbers/players is obviously a club decision.

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paulw66   

Finally saw the goals. Cech didn't exactly cover himself in glory did he?

He made a worldly at nil nil.... I would need to see the first goal again but zero blame for goals 2,3 and 4.

Odd.

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Yeah, I agree, however I think the three/four main players that will be looked at are Salah, Ramires, Cahill and possibly Remy. I say this as:

Zouma and Christensen - Have a slight excuse as they are both young and still learning

Cech - Is second choice anyway and is an absolute legend

Drogba - Same as Cech, while he is also due to retire anyway.

Mikel - It only really went to pot when he went off

Dave - Has been one of our best players for the last two years

So for me Jose will be looking at Salah, Ramires, Cahill and Remy and questioning if he can really trust them, as due to the way they have been playing (Cahill) or that this was their chance to impress (the other three) I think he will be disappointed they didn't step it up.

Interesting post. That being said, yesterday's debacle did rather point up the failing strength of our older players, and the inexperience of our youngsters (let's leave out the reticence of the crowd compared to the Bradfordians, despite the Harding upper displaying the atmosphere of a funeral parlour - I've seen more enthusiasm in a dentist's waiting room). But a question: are you saying that Fabregas and Will.I.an were poor substitutes for Mikel and Salah, or do I misunderstand you? Whatever the answer, I think that when JT finally decides to call it a day, we will have as big - or biggerr - a problem as did Arsenal when Vieira left. Headless chickens isn't in it

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Our football has been good in patches this season. But same could be said about last season. I cannot say that there has been a pattern of improvement. In fact it would seem to me that good football happens by chance at the club right now. Our results in the PL have been a lot more consistent than our performancees. But there lies the problem. If you live by inconsistencies you die by inconsistencies.

I agreed to disagree with the points raised in this post until you got to this part, which is nonsense the very highest order. You have literally no idea when you say 'it would seem good football happens by chance at this club'. Literally no idea. The players train and play under Mourinho's instructions so by the same token that you criticise Mourinho for setting up negatively, such as v Liverpool last week and at 1-0 up v Man Utd and Man City, you should be giving Mourinho credit for games like Swansea away, Burnley, West Brom but instead you credit it to chance. Mourinho has faults but they're far outweighed by the positives.

I believe we will win the league this season and if we do mark my words I'm going to ram it right down your throat, because you don't win a league by chance.

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He made a worldly at nil nil.... I would need to see the first goal again but zero blame for goals 2,3 and 4.

Odd.

That save at 0-0 was right up there in the top echelon of Cech's legendary best. What a shame it was for nothing.

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I challenge you to show me any post where I have said I hate Mourinho no matter what.

Every time I have criticised Mourinho I have laid my points as clearly as I possibly can. I can quote bucket loads of your posts where you disagreed with those points. But since the performance at Liverpool you have been making exactly the same points even more emphatically than me. And since yesterday you seem to have gone one level up and become the cheerleader in the criticism of Mourinho.

I have stated in some of my posts why I think re-signing Mourinho was a wrong decision. There is nothing cryptic about my views in that regard. And no matter how "hyperbole" that may sound to some people, nothing has happened so far to make me change my point of view. Interestingly, such views were commonplace in this forum in relation to other managers and were never regarded as hyperbole.

I cannot think of any reason why it would be OK to hold such views about one manager and a hyperbole to hold them about Mourinho other than the fact that some of us here are not used to Mourinho being criticised.

Our football has been good in patches this season. But same could be said about last season. I cannot say that there has been a pattern of improvement. In fact it would seem to me that good football happens by chance at the club right now. Our results in the PL have been a lot more consistent than our performancees. But there lies the problem. If you live by inconsistencies you die by inconsistencies.

And there we have I again. A very long post and I'm struggling to make out what the criticism really is. The tone is negative but what you are unhappy with is very unclear. This is what I mean.

Of you laid out the specifics one would be able to discuss it. Now it's just words and cryptic messages.

I'm not a cheerleader of criticising Mourinho. I'm very specific in my criticism. I don't think he has managed the squad very well and the squad he settled for was far too small to begin with. I've said this since the day the squad was finalised only it's taken us up until Christmas to notice the effects. Again - very consistent with what I've been claiming all along. A few others have as well. Most notably Droy.

This is a pretty solid base that people can agree or disagree with. If you did that a bit more often I think you'd get a lot more meaningful responses.

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I'm well aware of what Mourinho is 'on record' as saying. I also seem to recall him not being best impressed with the smaller squad in 2006/07, and that squad indeed proving to play a big part in his departure.

Anyone who thinks any manager prefers to not have plenty of useable players is, simply put, wrong. Perhaps Mourinho prefers 22 to players to 30-odd. Is anyone going to seriously argue that Mourinho's preference is to have a squad of 17 or so? Because that it was what we effectively have.

Well we can only conclude from things he does and say. He has always had a small and multi-functional squad. Always. With no exceptions.

He's also been on record many, many times stating that a small and multi-functional squad is one of the corner stones of his methodology.

You are now claiming that he's lying when he says this and that he actually prefers a large squad? That makes no sense to me. He doesn't want a large squad - that much is crystal clear.

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JaneB   

Apropos of nothing at all except it made me giggle when that's the last thing I feel like doing..........what on earth has Dennis Wise done to his hair?!

Sorry, tried to do a link but it never works for me. All over the net anyway!

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Finally saw the goals. Cech didn't exactly cover himself in glory did he?

As others have said, he made an absolutely brilliant save at 0-0. Haven't watched replays, but at the ground I thought he could have done better for Stead's goal but wasn't in much of a position to anything about the others. At my harshest I'd ask for the initial save for the equaliser to pushed wide, but he did his best when woefully exposed.

Courtois Cech

Ivan Azpi Luis Terry Cahill Zouma

Matic Mikel Ramires Fabregas

Oscar Hazard Willian Salah Schürrle

Costa Drogba Remy

20. I'm guessing you disregard Salah, as he can't be seen as a usable option.

Salah definitely out, but there are others you list who plenty here complain are not used often enough. It took a battering at Spurs for Zouma to get any meaningful minutes, and with no FA Cup or (essentially) meaningless League Cup games to come, I'd not put a lot of money on him getting much football between now and May. Schurrle, Ramires and Remy have all barely featured, albeit for a range of reasons- not all of them, I suspect, solely down to a lack of availability. Cech ... It's great to have a brilliant second choice keeper, but not that helpful for there to be two keepers in your best 12 players.

It's very clear that Mourinho has rarely been selecting from a pool of 20 players, and call me a cynic but I don't think injury and/or suspension is the explanation.

Well we can only conclude from things he does and say. He has always had a small and multi-functional squad. Always. With no exceptions.

He's also been on record many, many times stating that a small and multi-functional squad is one of the corner stones of his methodology.

You are now claiming that he's lying when he says this and that he actually prefers a large squad? That makes no sense to me. He doesn't want a large squad - that much is crystal clear.

Except with the obvious exception (which I notice you don't specifically refute) of his massively successful first two years at Chelsea. Wikipedia is never that reliable, but I count at least 22 and as many as 26 senior options throughout his three years there. Wiki suggests his final Porto squad has 26 players- I'll be honest and say that I can't vouch they were all senior, useable players. My impression is that this 'I like small squads' crap is relatively recent, only marginally evidenced by his Inter spell, and hasn't been successfully tested at anything like as competitive a country as England, or for nearly long enough.

Do you doubt Mourinho lies? That seems naive. I put the question again- who seriously believes that any manager, not only Jose, prefers to not have plenty of trustworthy, useable options to fall back on?

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