Following a poor pre-season in North America, losing for the first time to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal in the Community Shield, and collecting only one from six points in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho has blamed the club doctor and John Terry. Does he have any more toys to throw out of his pram before Roman Abramovich once again sacks the self-named ‘special one’?
Before kick off I had no reason to doubt that Jose Mourinho and Chelsea would right the wrongs of their opening draw at home to Swansea, and ‘turn up’ chomping at the bit as they so often do, when faced with a big game against one of the ‘big four’. But from the first kick, Manchester City were on the front foot. Manuel Pellegrini had said how his team would attack! attack! attack!… and that’s exactly what they did. Sergio Aguero was on fire, and fortunately for Chelsea, so was the stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who with several great saves managed to keep the half-time score down to 1-0.
But master tactician that Mourinho is, he realised the speed of Man City’s forward line – the likes and speed of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Jesus Navas and David Silva – Mourinho took the ‘brave’ decision to substitute his captain, leader and still his talisman, John Terry at half-time for the younger, spritely, Wilfred Zuma. A young man with plenty of enthusiasm, but nowhere near the awareness or big game experience that Terry gives the Chelsea defence.
Now, if Chelsea managed a draw or better by scoring in the second half without conceding more goals, Mourinho would have been praised for making such a contentious, brave decision. Instead, Man City went on to out-play Chelsea on every level and eventually ran out easy winners, 3-0.
There’s no denying the media have shown more interest in Jose Mourinho’s public outburst at team doctor and physio because Eva Carneiro is a woman. She actually followed ‘the other one’ into the pitch. But how many column inches have been written about him?
That said, his outburst that in someway was set as a distraction to, what in essence was, an appalling display by Chelsea on the opening day of the new Premier League season, is seriously looking like once more, Chelsea are imploding… again!
On the other hand, Manchester City have been the only team to come out of the traps at full pelt. Two games, two wins, six goals and none conceded. City look back to their very best, as the spine of their team – Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero are all on fire. Wolfsburg, former Chelsea and Belgium international Kevin De Bryune has officially stated he will not be moving to Man City, possibly to the relief of the other 19 teams in the league.
Other teams with 100% records in the Premier League are Man Utd and Liverpool. Both with two 1-0 victories have been less than convincing. Last night Liverpool were a little fortunate as a perfectly good Bournemouth goal was disallowed; while Christian Benteke‘s goal highlighted the new offside law that come into play this season stating that ‘if a player in an offside position moves towards or away from the ball, he is interfering with play; and is therefore deemed to be offside.’ Coutinho was clearly in an offside position when Benteke scored.
The big surprise of the season so far is Claudio Ranieri‘s Leicester City. They have not only started the season with a 100% record, but the manner of the exciting, fast-flowing football has been a joy to watch.
The only other two unbeaten teams in the Premier League are Everton and Swansea. Both followed opening match draws with convincing wins over Southampton and Newcastle, respectively. While the other end of the table is propped up by two of the pre-season favourites for relegation, Sunderland and Bournemouth, still without a point.
By the way, 20/1 on Jose Mourinho!