Chelsea may be boring, but they are winning
As the Chelsea players celebrated their 0-0 draw against Arsenal last weekend, they were serenaded with chants of ‘boring boring Chelsea’ by Gunners supporters.
But as we’ve learned this week from Jose Mourinho and his players, they couldn’t care less about whether they are exciting to watch.
They are in the business of winning not entertaining. And by any means necessary.
The issue the chants have raised is, do the best teams have an obligation to play the best football they can or is it simply about winning?
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sacked Mourinho in 2007 despite leading the club to the Premier League in each of his first two seasons.
There were some suggestions at the time that Abramovich was unhappy with the quality of football given all the money that he had put into the club, which is understandable – but brings us back to the business of winning; not entertaining.
Teams like Brazil and Barcelona will always be remembered not only because they won trophies, but because they played with a confidence, swagger and exuberance – which provided fans everywhere gripping viewing.
Even teams that have lost major finals but played the beautiful game the right way are still revered for their style, most notably Newcastle in 1996.
Given the resources at his disposal, it’s hard to argue that Mourinho should not be doing more to get Chelsea to perform in a manner that will captivate audiences.
But if any player epitomises Chelsea’s current style, it’s John Terry.
Alongside Eden Hazard, Terry has been the man to step up and deliver when it matters most.
You can say what you like about his indiscretions on and off the field, but nobody can deny the quality of his displays, which have been at times imperious.
When you consider that in 2013, it looked like he was coming to the end of his career at Stamford Bridge, it’s been a remarkable turnaround.
He’s been a near ever present in every competition for Chelsea and yet his level has barely dipped and he has rarely been exposed the way you’d expect from a 34-year-old.
His non-nomination for the PFA player of year shortlist was huge mistake by his peers. He’s been by far the best defender in the Premier League this season in the second best defense in the country.
And it’s Chelsea’s defense that has been essential to them dominating from start to finish. Even when they have been rocked and put on the back foot, they responded like champions.
Their rivals have faltered badly and it has been as close to a stroll in the park as you are ever likely to see.
Arsenal and Manchester United have shown some signs in recent weeks that they might be capable of providing a credible challenge next year, but there are a number of issues both sides must still deal with.
Regardless of the style, Chelsea have been worthy winners this year and it is up to the chasing pack to pick themselves up from and fightback.
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