Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the characteristics that he expects from each and every one of his players at the club.
The Portuguese boss plays a distinct brand of football with the Stamford Bridge outfit, which has proven to be a success this season with the club very much still in the Premier League title race and also set to take on Atletico Madrid in a Champions League semi-final.
However, his style of play often attracts detractors amidst accusations it is too defensive, but Mourinho believes that even his attacking players cannot afford to ignore their defensive duties if they want a place in his team.
“Every player has to work for the team, both with and without the ball. All of our players contribute defensively and for the attacking midfielders there is a big responsibility to press the opposition when they have possession in their own half.
“It is extremely important to try to win the ball as high up the pitch as possible because, when you do this, your opponent is usually less prepared for the counter-attack.
“Usually, when you win the ball back close to their goal, the opposition defenders are not positioned to deal with a quick attack, so you have a good chance to find space, to exploit it and, hopefully, to score,” he declared.
Given that the former Real Madrid coach often employs a 4-2-3-1 formation at Chelsea, it is unsurprising that his attacking midfielders are required to contribute to the team defensively. There are no room for passengers in Mourinho’s side and he is often ruthless if a player fails to step up the required standard.