Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why we should all admire Scolari after United hammering...

I cannot even remember when Chelsea last lost by three goals to nil, which is what happened at Old Trafford on Sunday in what was a very important Premier League game. Since that crushing defeat Chelsea fans have, according to reports, been saying for a while that they were not playing well and unlikely to win the title and this after a great start to the season under new coach Big Phil Scolari.

Jose Mourinho was always going to be a tough act to follow, but the general consensus was that if anyone had a chance of pulling it off then it was the Brazilian. In the early weeks of the season, the press were full of praise for the new Chelsea; their players were free of their shackles and allowed to express themselves. The press were saying "Jose, who"?

However, since the turn of the year things haven't gone well for the new coach and his team amidst talk of dressing room unrest, and so followers of Chelsea were not that surprised when United ran out comfortable winners at the weekend.

The United result was damaging for Scolari and his team, the press have been predictably hovering and looking for reasons behind this slump.

When he first arrived in England, the media weren't sure if Scolari could speak any English at all, here again this would be another battle for the Brazilian given that Mourinho was a copy writers dream. However, big Phil soon allayed those fears when giving his first press-conference in English.

In the wake of the United defeat and ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup replay with Southend, Scolari was once again asked about if "communication" was a problem, clearly this was another jibe at the Brazilian's ability to speak English.

Refreshingly, rather make excuses, or throw his teddy out of the pram, Scolari his taken personal responsibility for trying to change the pattern of the United game when sending on a second striker at half-time, which he now concedes opened up the midfield.

At this juncture you do wonder what the Chelsea fans will be thinking and saying about Scolari, because back in August and the early part of the season they were full of praise for this "new Chelsea".

Pragmatism was out in favour sexy football - but you cannot have it both ways, and so you do wonder if the same fans who were bigging up Phil are now wishing that Jose was still in charge.

Personally, I'd be more than happy to see Chelsea drop back into mid-table mediocrity where they were before the Russian pitched-up and there are signs that he has grown bored of his West London play-thing.

As for Scolari and Chelsea, the result at Old Trafford on Sunday was good for football - what else do you expect from a United fan? However, it might not be good for the Brazilian if this poor run continues. Whatever happens at Chelsea, I admire Scolari more than I did before United's second-half demolition job.

When the Brazilian first arrived in England we were told that he was hard-man, but in his press conference this week he has shown honesty and he has taken the blame for what happened on the chin which makes a change for the better in the current blame culture.

Scolari takes rap for United defeat - he could have blamed Ballack et al - but he didn't

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