Rodgers slams Mourinho’s defensive tactics after loss


Brendan Rodgers had some sour grapes after the 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Anfield, and much of it had to do with the ultra-defensive strategy Jose Mourinho chose to field.

With the Anfield fixture bookended by Champions League matches – which Mourinho said he believed were the club’s priority – the London club’s manager selected a weakened side to face the Reds.

The lineup did not feature attacking midfielder Oscar, nor did it have the injured Eden Hazard, and Rodgers could see the difference.

“It was 10 players behind from the first minute [by Chelsea], and we found it difficult to break down,” Rodgers said of Chelsea’s strategy. “There were probably two buses parked today, never mind one.”

When a reporter asked if he could build a team and play that way, he said with a chuckle, “What do you think?”

Finally, Rodgers said he doesn’t believe a fully defensive outlook will allow Chelsea to win trophies, and not just in the Premier League.

“[To win matches] you need combination play. Not just vs Atletico, it’s every game. If it gets results, great, but it’s totally opposite of how we work. Over time our mentality and aggression will get us results. It’s not difficult to coach to get 10 men inside the 18-yard box.”

The Liverpool manager was also not happy about how slow Chelsea played.  “It was disappointing they didn’t get booked for time wasting until the 92nd minute,” Rodgers remarked. “Everyone could see it from the first whistle.”

It was a pretty obvious tactic by Mourinho to slow the game down, most notably when John Obi Mikel walked off the pitch after receiving treatment, and he made three stops to turn around and have a word with referee Howard Webb, much to the anger of the Anfield crowd.

Rodgers was the head youth coach under Jose Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, and the game was billed as a “master vs apprentice” matchup. However, the two did not shake hands after the match, and when asked if he had seen or spoken to Mourinho after the final whistle, Rodgers said bluntly, “I haven’t seen Jose yet.”

Finally, Rodgers finished up his presser giving credit to Mourinho but not agreeing with the way of playing. “Jose’s happy with that. It’s not my way of working. They defended well – we tried everything we could.”

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.