What We Learned: Manchester United


A 0-0 borefest. Chelsea had an assertive and passive tactic starting with the False Nine, which failed miserably. We tried to defend and not concede while attempting to get something on the counter. And Schurrle didn’t get the kind of accurate long through balls from Lampard a lot of times despite covering a lot of spaces through out the 90 mins. Wayne Rooney as clearly seen was the best player on the pitch for Man Utd and John Terry for Chelsea. The clear emphasize for Mourinho was counter attack and he was left disappointed a lot was expected from our attacking players up front to covert their chances.

Now, with a deserved one point in store from a difficult game at Old Trafford, let’s look at 5 main things we learned from the draw with Manchester United…

1. Jose Mourinho clearly unsatisfied with striker options:

Let’s start with starting 11 first. Jose Mourinho opted to play German Winger Andre Schurrle in attack by favoring him over the 3 forwards we have Torres, Ba and Lukaku. He instead put Andre Schurrle on a False 9 to constantly change positions and get at the end of a through ball from midfielders. Even putting Schurrle on instead of the traditional forwards didn’t make much of an impact but, it was a clear message by Jose that he is not satisfied fully with the 3 forwards he has at the moment. Lukaku is safe as he is young and has a huge potential ahead of him but, that was a bad news for Ba and Torres not to be favored ahead of a winger in a top match like this. We may have seen the last Demba Ba, let’s wait and see what happens with the Roma interest.

2. Schurrle’s work rate was brilliant!

Andre Schurrle though, who spear headed the attack against United didn’t disappoint despite not getting the scoring touches Jose would have liked him to get in the end of. The German winger showed amazing stamina and versatility as he run across full lengths of the pitch during a lot of times playing the whole 90 mins against the reigning Champions. And that’s a great sign for our summer addition who made his first start in the Premier League at Old Trafford against Man Utd. We can surely expect him to feature more in Jose’s plans from now on and that’s exactly what he earned by his work rate in every single match he has played in so far. Well Done Schurrle!

3. Jose has done a great job on improving last season’s shaky defense:

The biggest take away from this and every match we have played so far under Jose Mourinho is that the Special One almost transformed Chelsea’s defense by not bringing in new players for that position, but by organizing a brilliant tactic in a way we defend and transition from defense to attack quickly. That’s more of what he has done with his Real Madrid for 3 years mostly focused on countering the threat of Barcelona’s tiki-taka. But, we still may see the passing game that was favored in the last season at Chelsea under Mourinho. Rest assured is the fact that we have no worries about shaky defense and conceding silly goals.

4. The back four of Iva, JT, Cahill and Cole is looking untouchable:

Speaking of our defense, this back four is the same that started the first league game against Hull and kept its place at Old Trafford for our 3rd EPL game. In those 3 matches, Chelsea only conceded one goal and kept clean sheets as well. The partnership between Terry and Cahill has been solid and unsurprisingly amazing on aerial duels. We will see what Jose will do as to who will David Luiz play in defense with and who is dropping to the bench. Specially that will be interesting to see as we face Bayern in the Super Cup show down this Friday and Jose’s earlier press-conference words were that the Brazilian might be available for this game. Lets wait and see till Luiz recovers but, this back four is solid defensively and Ivanovic is seeming to cement his starting status at RB ahead of Azpilicueta.

5. Wayne Rooney clearly stole the show at Old Trafford: 

Despite this big game coming early at the beginning of the season and Mourinho facing off against David Moyes, the spotlight was mainly on Wayne Rooney as to how is going to perform in the situation he has been at all summer long and specially against the team who are looking to sign him. And Rooney showed a great professionalism and mental strength by keeping his head in the game and not get distracted by other issues. He was being cheered by both set of supporters as United fans gave him adulation of a returning hero and Chelsea fans constantly chanted “See you next week Wayne Rooney”. But after all, what we can learn from his performance was that Rooney is at his best of his footballing career so far and he has a great versatility to play in midfield as well as striker.

As Jose said in his post match comments, Rooney may decide to stay after the reception he got by the Man Utd supporters. Mourinho will give Rooney 48 hours to decide on whether he will request a transfer or not. The likely answer is not and if so, Jose will ‘close in on their 2nd option’ or ‘plan B’ as stated by the Special One last week. That will likely be Samuel Eto’o or even Robert Lewandowski but, we will get to see it all unfold in this frantic last week of the transfer window.

Hope you enjoyed our What We Learned for the Man Utd game and please let us know your opinions about what you have read! KTBFFH 

  1. Anonymous says

    “Jose said, no loan for lukaku i will work with him, same again for McEachran and the young players. I want Torres and Mata to stay and i will improve them he said. Now after one league game he plays with no attackers against United. I understand he doesn’t want to lose and that Chelsea had 4 shots on target to United’s 3 and they had a full complement of strikers all playing at once. A master stroke? Maybe but last season Chelsea defeated United 3 times, drew one and lost one (no thanks to Clattenberg) by playing expansive attacking football and running United ragged with Mata and Torres in the team I can see his reluctance about Mata the man cannot tackle or defend to save his life but when a game needs unlocking you need him and a couple of strikers on the pitch. Ba had a habit of hitting beauties past United if he didn’t do much else.” (Socrates comments in daily mail football http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2403504/Chelsea-confident-completing-Samuel-Etoo-deal-48-hours.html#ixzz2dECvZzqR). I entirely agree with him because Chelsea FC fail to utilize strikers, apart from Drogba. Look at Sturridge at Liverpool, Lukaku at WBA. We need to change style of play. But with the coming of Jose, nothing will change. No offensive tic tac football, only defensive game. I cry for my beloved Chelsea!

    1. pertaub says

      change tactic?and why that?only to suit our strikers?is that the aim of football?the aim is winning and not the strikers scoring or not..i really like the defensive football we are playing right now..jose is doing such a great job..arsenal and liverpool play super attacking football but at the end of the day accumulates less points than us..so i’ll let you guess the moral of this!

      1. Jeff says

        I want to believe Mou is still assessing the team and playing without a striker was just a mind game trick for a game that game to early in the season…He Mou knws we want attacking football at the same time not concede silly goals so lets watch and see, when the transfer window closes, we wld see wat we got to work wit but I am confident we wld play beautiful football, maybe not so beautiful but good enough

  2. Buchi says

    I think Jose got it wrong by not starting d likes of Torres, Mikel and Mata. Just with d case of last season when all dis names played against d same Man U. We out played them if not d help of ref dat issued a red card to torres, So Jose should not gamble with our matches again, in as much as he is building our defence our attacking should also be d best in d world. If he uses d same tactics against Bayern Sorry will be his case. Chelsea all d way

  3. Ken says

    Nothing to learn from the game boring, boring mourinho…thank God I never clamoured for his second coming cos I knew he’ll be all out to destroy this team..expect a more ”park the busp style” against Bayern.
    mourinho will take us nowhere with style of footie..I weep for chelsea my club, my heart and my soul..

    1. hull city tiger says

      @ ken,what you been doing last ten years?.the best manager in the world returns to our club,7 points out of 9,inc a point away at manure and your worried about jm destroying our side?.people like you shouldnt watch football mate,absolute fool !

  4. Joseph says

    What mourinho did was right, if can’t play Mata who isn’t fully fit,Mikel who didn’t even play in our pre-season matches,Ba was half fit,we have a match against bayern how can he play all of our Strickers.so you wanted him to start with a stricker and when he lose to game you the same people will hav something against him….draw is better than to lose….he has his own strategy…

    1. Jeff says

      I agree for Mata and Mikel but was hoping lukaku wld start

  5. BigChill says

    Chelsea team had a numba of new faces and once we still evolving (again) and building a new team (we still haven’t established a starting 11) so I wouldn’t fault his cautious approach, we all know how Mou hates to loose, he was jus being “pragmatic” but wit 1 or 2 more signings, d best of d team will no doubt come out………..imagine he gambled and lost dis match, pple wuld ve called for his head rite.

  6. Anonymous says

    Y’all still don’t get it Mou is going to destroy this team….someone just tell me TF we need Willian good player alright….but he is just another No10…I see Mata out of this team very soon,if not now ending of the season….

    1. Jeff says

      Willian plays good from the wings, so don’t write off Mata just yet…..our number 10 spot wld be btwn Oscar, Mata and Willian…..healthy competition..Willian would threaten our wingers more cos I see that is the reason he was bought

  7. hull city tiger says

    Playing schurrle up front was nothing to do with jm not being happy with strikers,it was purely tactical,i.e to get vidic and ferdinand on the move you plumb.you need to do a bit more rewinding and pausing.

  8. tomboy says

    Some pple are stupid!!!

  9. forever blue says

    Jose’s approach was wrong.

    But if you look at it closely,
    (hull, A.villa, man utd and bayern) in the space of 14 days.

    Man UTD had 8 days to prepare for this match. Chelsea had 4 days. So i wouldnt complain.

  10. forever blue says

    You forgot to mention that lampard has been crap. He neither builds up the attack or defends well.

    Lampard is very greedy, wants to take penalty, freekick … Mikel or van ginkel would be better

    1. hull city tiger says

      @forever blue…you clueless twat!

      1. Prudy says

        At last! Someone with the insight to solve the prelmob!

      2. cialis says

        Hey, that’s powerful. Thanks for the news.

      3. past medical says

        Thanks for your thoughts. It’s helped me a lot.

    2. Vaakmeisster says

      Thank you for pushing sentiments aside. We all love Lamps, but he’s a tactical disaster at the pivot. He scores yeah, but he does is leave his position and play incomplete passes.

  11. Oguntola Niyi says

    Some fool here ar blamin mou tactics, i wnt u 2 know if u dnt take risk u cant b sucesful, we av no strtin XI, probably d coach was tryin 2 study sumtinz, he said afta d game dat he told hs boyz dat dy sould go nd win d match nd if dy cnt win den, dy must nt lose nd xplain vividly y Mata wasnt used. Nd m sure if u read JT nd Lamp post match coment u wouldnt b sayin trash. Park de bus or not, all we nid is 2 win, Bayern,Mancity,Psg,Monaco,Arsnal…. Av all drop points, so i c ntin bad in 7/9

  12. 705 says

    Jose’s tactics are a bore at times, this is even more ridiculous when you consider the players we have, its sad that he doesn’t like Mata because truth be told we are a different outfit with him pulling the strings and we desparately lacked and needed that on monday but he opted to play negative football because he didn’t want to lose. Mata, Hazard and Oscar would have ran the show with Lukaku ahead we would have been out of this world……. Now with Willian in the team it seems Mata falls down the pecking order and sych is a heartbreaking shame as he is the best we have, Hazard hasn’t been himself under Mou either!!!! Shame if only

    1. Jeff says

      true @ Hazard hasn’t been himself hope that changes soon

  13. Ken says

    Mourinho seems to cage our players fluidity eg hazard has been a shadow of himself under him.. He should allow these players to express themselves on the field of play.. I’m tired of this cagey style of play from mourinho

    1. Jeff says

      three games and you are tired?? plssssss we shld be patient

  14. 705 says

    He keeps playing a washed up and old Lampard ahead of Van Ginkel, Essien and Mikel whom all would do a much better job. Lampard was anonymus throughout the game on mondayhardly had a kick of tackle he is chosen because he is Mou’s favourite not because he is whats best for the team. If he isn’t going to play Mata let him go after all he has given us he doesn’t deserve to be treated like he has prove himself. Its a damn shame whats happening to him, a proper gentleman n a humble soul. Fact is Mourinho prefers negative tactics so all our brilliant player are just for show they won’t be utilised to their full potential

    1. Jeff says

      the league has barely started, some calm fellow fans

    2. Anonymous says

      You , so call Chelsea fan, must stop this stupidity that the style of play is not good. Did you see the first match? Mata plays against villa. Did you see him? He was useless because he is not fit enough. You must stop complaining because it become ridiculous.

      1. Bob says

        Mata, was in a shit position and not getting any passes, what the hell are you talking about. Mourinho has too much like for OScar and Oscar is shit as a CAM.

      2. Vaakmeisster says

        Didn’t watch the Villa game, Bob but saying Oscar is shit just because you like Mata is wrong. Oscar has been brilliant at CAM as he ensures passes actually come to the striker for once (unlike Mata who prefers to score more than pass). Oscar’s work rate is also better than Mata and is one of the reasons we have been defending better. I love Mata, but I believe because he prefers to attack more than pass, he would do better in a free role on the wings (where he started his career) while Oscar plays CAM

        1. Jeff says

          nice comment

    3. hull city tiger says

      Essien was once a fine player but he is nowhere near that now,injuries have taken their toll.van the man is a kid and obi mikel is not and never will be in the same league as lamps.you really are a prize pratt mat,one of the most ridiculous ridicjlous comments i have ever seen posted on a forum.you need to go and give your head a wobble son.

  15. snowhite obi says

    Terry is good but David Luiz is better…Luiz is a world-class defender with good skills,good passes,and good pace.
    Our match against Madrid,Terry was Xposed so many times. That’s the kind of matches Luiz plays to Die.

  16. Vaakmeisster says

    MOU is experimenting. But I believe he should have started Lukaku. I also do not like Lamps at the pivot as he doesn’t contribute much in that position. Chelsea need to define themselves as for now, we do not have a style of attacking. Mou has sorted out the defence, it’s now time to set up our attack

    1. Jeff says

      objective comment, good point

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