Blog: 5 Things We Learnt From The Weekend’s Football

A Mourinho masterclass and a Mackem marvel; here's what we learnt...

Ben Fawcett

6 years ago

By Ben Fawcett

adidas PR Shoot 11/10/2013

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We’ve gone all MOTD on you and decided to wait until after the Man City Chelsea game to analyse the weekend’s football. We don’t regret it; here’s what we learnt:

Mourinho’s Masterclass…

It was assumed that a team led by Jose Mourinho would travel to title rivals and ‘park the bus’. Chelsea went to Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and the Emirates and looked quite comfortable taking a point, granted having Torres sent off at Spurs and hitting the bar at Arsenal. But last night was different. After lambasting Sam Allardyce’s ’19th Century football’, it appeared the press had already written the hypocritical headlines about Jose, hoping the wheels of the bus would literally fall off. Mourinho had a different plan altogether, using Nemanja Matic as almost a pincer to squeeze the preverbal jugular of the Man City machine, Yaya Toure. Never has Toure seemingly come up against a player who’s stature and strength matched him pound for pound; Mourinho knew that. Eden Hazard had the game of his life whilst the Chelsea defence gave it their all. Players famously play up for Mourinho, we’ve seen it time and time again and last night offered us first real glimpses that this Chelsea side are prepared to go a long way for their boss. This time round, it was less about the bus and more about the coach…

Mackem Marvel…

Last season’s 0-3 win at St. James’ was a heaven send for Sunderland fans. Paulo Di Canio became immortalised in Mackem folklore and the fans must have never thought they’d see the likes of that again. Gus Poyet is the new hero on Tyneside, for the red half at least, and Sunday’s victory showed more than a signal of intent that Sunderland might just stay up. No side since West Brom have been bottom on Christmas day and survived but history might be rewritten again. A League Cup final awaits Sunderland, whilst things look bleak for the black and white side of the city. Joe Kinnear’s resignation appears to be nothing more than appeasement; give the fans something to be happy about after getting trounced by your rivals. Cabaye is gone and hasn’t been replaced; my opinion is the club lack serious ambition. Pardew will be next to go, have no qualms about it whilst Ashley tries to build an empire on a Sports Direct shoestring budget…

The Power of an Ox…

It was just last week how I was saying Arsenal lacked the strength in depth to mount a title challenge, but I may have been proven wrong. Their squad lacks something extra, that’s for sure, and with injuries to the likes of Theo Walcott and most recently new signing Kim Kallstrom, they could do with some more players. The Arsenal bench on sunday afternoon wasn’t awe inspiring with Arsene Wenger having to rely on two youth players in Gnabry and Zelalem to make up the numbers but the return of Oxlade-Chamberlain after 5 months out will provide a boost. Playing in an unfamiliar deep lying role, the Ox thrived and was allowed freedom of the park. His two goals were deserved of a player who’s taken his time to get back from injury, choosing not to rush and risk further aggravation. He won’t win Arsenal the title but his return will provide a massive boost…

David Moyes: Record Breaker…

David Moyes really isn’t having the best of times in Manchester. Since the turn of the year, United have lost 4 out of 6 games they’ve played in all competitions. The signing of Juan Mata was supposed to provide an uplifting boost to the team, but deploying him on the right wing shows tactical ineptness from Moyes. Mata never played too well in that position for Chelsea, preferring his role as a number 10. Moyes is now stuck with Rooney and van Persie returning to fitness in how to accommodate all of them in one team. The first league loss to Stoke since 1984 will not be a welcome record in Salford and Moyes will have to turn things round sooner rather than later. Coming soon, Arsenal away…

Liverpool Mistakes…

It’s really their best shot at a top 4 finish for a long time. With the inconsistent form of Tottenham and United and the drubbing they gave Everton last week, Liverpool need to start to capitalise on their stronger position. Kolo Toure offered up the latest line of costly errors, which now sees Liverpool just two points clear of their Merseyside rivals. Suarez and Sturridge are still on fine form, but their goals alone can’t guarantee the club a Champions League finish. The team needs to work better as a squad, and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping there’s less of them in the upcoming games…

Words @benrebuck