DEFEATED Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho gave one of those confused, muttering, rambling monologues that he saves for bad losses, like the one his side sustained against Sunderland last night.
There were two obvious ways of looking at the game – Chelsea were not as good as they should have been, or Sunderland were better than they were expected to be – but the Blues boss chose neither.
Instead he insisted that Chelsea deserved to win the game and were also blameless for losing it.
“I think we should have had the game won – I think everyone thinks the same – one team played, one team produced, one team missed chances.
“I don’t blame players for missing chances, I blame players when their attitude is not good or their football is not good enough and that has not been the case for us.
“I have never lost in the Premier League because teams have played better than us. It has happened in the Champions League – I remember when Basel beat us.
“But in this country, the games I have lost with Chelsea have happened because we have not taken our chances.”
Asked what he could do about that, he mused: “Maybe the way to rectify it is to tighten up defensively, to make sure that when we don’t score enough goals we don’t let any in and therefore get better results.
“But that’s not really the way we want to play.
“We play lovely football, we are very comfortable on the ball – Willian was fantastic for us – and we had big chances to score but didn’t score.
“But the fact is we want to overwhelm teams and finish them off but if you don’t finish them off, the opposition is still alive.”
This seemed like a recipe for Chelsea to play in the way so favoured by Arsenal under Arsene Wenger over the years – a style Mourinho has been sceptical of in the past.
And, somewhat bizarrely, the Blues boss said he would prefer to play this way rather than find a more effective winning style.
“I don’t want to change things, because we are going in the right direction in terms of the quality and excitement of play.
“I think it would be a step backwards to go for better results but I understand football is about getting results.
“It is quite frustrating if we are to change the way we play to simply win games defensively.
“It’s something I don’t want to do but it is something that I’m giving thought to.
“If I want to win 1-0, I think I can – it’s one of the easiest things in football. You structure your team from the back and don’t give freedom to your players – but it is not the way we want to win.”
As a footballing philosophy it didn’t make the greatest deal of sense. But perhaps one of the greatest compliments Sunderland’s achievements could have had on the night was to have Mourinho meandering in his post-match Press conference – it was an indication of how frustrated and irked he was by the result.