Mourinho plays to win as Chelsea claim Capital One Cup
Chelsea claimed their first major trophy of the season at Wembley defeating Tottenham 2-0 in the Capital One Cup final, thanks to John Terry's first-half strike and Kyle Walker’s own goal early in the second-half. The game wasn’t a masterclass by Chelsea, but they pounced on a few opportunities and displayed solid defending throughout the game.
As the superior side, convention would have led fans to believe that Mourinho would play Ramires alongside Fabregas as defensive-midfielders, Hazard, Oscar and Willian as attacking-midfielders and play a more attack-minded game against Tottenham. But instead, Mourinho fielded a heavily defensive-minded team, pairing Ramires with Kurt Zouma – a center-half – in the defensive-midfield role for the suspended Nemanja Matic, and looked to break on the counter.
Mourinho has scoffed at convention throughout his managerial career, proving that he doesn’t care about the style of football his team plays; he only cares about the end result. He subscribes to former NFL head coach Herm Edward’s infamous post-game speech that we play to win the game.
The win wasn’t pretty by any means, having only 33% of possession, but any fan would trade an ugly win (take a look at Manchester United, who currently sit fourth in the Premier League and are consistently inconsistent, but scrape out wins) for a trophy.
This is Mourinho’s 10th win in 12 major finals and his 21st trophy in 15 years of management. Post-game he was quoted saying that, “it’s important to feel the same happiness after the victory, and to feel a kid at 52 years old.” This kid-like demeanor was on display towards the end of the match when the “Special One”, who normally has a contentious relationship with the media, showed off his more playful side squirting water into a camera on the touchline.
Chelsea has two more trophies to look forward to winning this season, the Premier League and Champions League. In the Premier League, they sit atop the table five points ahead of Manchester City, playing one less game, with 10 games left in the season; and host Paris Saint-Germain next Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in the second-leg of the UEFA Champions League knockout round tied 1-1 on aggregate.