Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jose Is Caught out at His Own Game as Spurs' Defence Comes Up Trumps; Chelsea Coach Fumes as Blues Draw a Blank

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jose Is Caught out at His Own Game as Spurs' Defence Comes Up Trumps; Chelsea Coach Fumes as Blues Draw a Blank

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

JOSE MOURINHO has always talked a good game but his analysis of this match was more entertaining than the performance of his players.

Chelsea's head coach railed against the referee, the fourth official and the opposition, mercifully keeping his counsel on the foxhunting debate, but the Portuguese protested too much.

For all his catalogue of complaints Tottenham's defensive display was well worth a point and Mourinho's real frustration lay in his team's inability to beat willing but limited opponents.

Like a successful politician the 41-year-old has built a career on the back of pragmatism, winning the Champions League but few hearts with Porto's style of play last season. Anyone who saw Porto strangle the life out of Deportivo La Coruna in two stultifying semi-finals will acknowledge that Mourinho is hardly a devotee of the beautiful game.

Jacques Santini has yet to reach such heights but is at least taking Tottenham in the right direction. Indeed, of these two new managers who have brought 18 players to London this summer Santini has made the most tangible improvement, transforming Spurs from a shambolic circus into a welldrilled troupe who, if nothing else, do not concede defeat easily. Chelsea remain in second place behind Arsenal which, as Claudio Ranieri could tell you, is no place to be.

Santini and Mourinho differ as characters and managers, the Frenchman's ponderous approach contrasting with the sleek Mourinho's obvious mental agility, but like all good architects both recognise the importance of solid foundations.

Much has been made of Chelsea's magnificent defensive record, with just one goal conceded in six Premiership games, but Spurs' back-line has only been breached twice all season.

Such defensive solidity was the basis of yesterday's display and Santini made no apology for his team's approach.

"When you play against big teams you have to defend," he said. "They have big international players against my young team and it was a great result. It was very important to get a point.

"I would prefer to have big international players but this will be a long, hard season for Tottenham. …

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