Bus Parking - A Counter Strategy?
Nostalgic about the legend of Robbie Di Matteo...
Against relegation fodder Jose Mourinho's current Chelsea set-up as we know it have infamously proven easy pickings as far as Robbie's famous tactic goes in the Barclays Premier League.
Although still top of the league pending how much touchline tantrums Tottenham's Tim Sherwood can throw today at White Hart Lane in a bid to salvage whatever chicken pride the Totts had left and in turn stop Liverpool from overtaking us, losses to Stoke City, Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa and now Crystal Palace all have a common denominator - a 'parked bus' on one end of the pitch and a soft vulnerable underbelly under a counterattack on the other!
Ostensibly, for a team that beat Manchester City home and away; easily dispatched the red Merseysiders as though the SAS connection were out of town or down with some Scouser flu; blitzed Arsene Wenger's Arsenal 6-nought in a delicious result which effectively saw the Frenchman fail yet again, you'd be forgiven to think if it isn't time a drastic paradigm shift was enacted [or re-enacted as it were] in order to see off this once very promising season which for all intents and purposes, it must be said, looks like it'll end in a rude anti-climax especially against [and due to] the comparatively smaller sides we are yet to play in the season run-in.
Stoke City at Stamford Bridge come to mind here...and who says Mark Hughes and co., including the gangling Peter Crouch and the other Peter, the resurgent Nigerian ex-QPR 'Bad Boy' Peter Odemwingie ain't in possession of designs or, heavens forbid, the devastating ability of sitting back and causing us more Cry' Palace-like troubles on the break, huh?
Simply put, is it not time Mourinho became more flexible if not dynamic not just tactically - team formations and shapes and all that - but also in the playing philosophy to suit opposition managers and their tactical dispositions as they come? In other words, shouldn't the Special One try an RDM on guys like Tony Pulis as well?
Sounds an almost bizarre thought I know, but please don't laugh as I'm damned serious saying that; after all a friend once good-humoredly joked "gift Barcelona to Mr. Pulis and he'd still drive the team bus onto the pitch"! How true were those wise words?
For whatever it is worth, it's easy to tell this fan is obviously still seething from the unexpected loss at Selhurst Park; easier still I believe it is for the keen reader to tell this writer is teetering between a rock and a hard place - should Chelsea sometimes surprise these small teams, pay back in kind, park the damned bus and win ugly or play open and lose anyway?
Ok, I'll paraphrase that.
Shouldn't the Roman Army in all its glory rather embarrass itself and defend in droves when playing these small sides while all the time priming to hit them on the counter, tit-for-tat style?
Surely the Barcelona`s and the Bayern Munich`s of this world can tell the efficiency of this dreadful tactic having been on its receiving end in recent history, but for want of a better tactical manoeuver one will be damned thinking maybe, just maybe we can reciprocate these teams who park the bus against us and show them who is boss of the bus tactic?
What do you think would work best for Mourinho's team going forward?
Outfox the Tony Pulis' of this league stride for stride and trick for trick or perpetually open up and turn over, just like Pep's Barcelona?