Win at all costs?

Mourinho celebrating against Liverpool

Besides being totally and utterly devastated after watching Liverpool lose the advantage in the title charge because of a defeat to a very cynical, Jose Mourinho, Chelsea side I was surprised at the mixed reaction to the match.

In my view, (which I realise is totally biased because I am a Liverpool fan) I felt Chelsea came and effectively cheated their way to an awful victory.

Despite having 190 million pounds worth of talent on the pitch Jose Mourinho instructed his team to spoil the football match by constantly disrupting it by time wasting and then ‘parking two buses‘ in front of the goal – it was a successful ploy as Chelsea won the match and Liverpool despite being the better team couldn’t create a clear chance or a piece of magic that would lead to a goal.

How could those talented players want to perform like this? Is this why he lost the support of some of the players at Real Madrid?

I’m gutted that horrible, spoiling tactics won the match for Chelsea and that the win came from an awful, misfortunate slip by the most passionate player on the pitch, Stephen Gerrard, which led to a simple gift of a goal.

In there was any fairness wouldn’t you think that if any luck was going on the day it would be to the team that tried to play football and not to the nasty, negative and horrible Mourinho and his team? I was sick watching him run to the supporters punching his chest after they scored – “you deserve nothing” I felt.

After the game this view was shared by nearly every Liverpool fan I spoke to and so many others – how can such cynicism win through, it’s bad for football, why didn’t the ref punish time wasting at the beginning of the match instead of at 92 minutes when the damage was done?

While this was the most popular view I was surprised by how many others who felt it was a tactical masterpiece, his aim was to spoil and he succeeded, who cares how you do it, isn’t winning the objective?

After all, how you win is irrelevant..

In your business is it win at all costs?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

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10 Responses to “Win at all costs?”

  1. Denis Says:

    Let me start by saying I’m not a Blues fan.

    Chelsea went to Anfield, stuck to their game plan, played within the rules(as determined impartial match officials) and won.

    Liverpool played well, bossed the possession, had scoring chances but couldn’t break Chelsea down. They made a couple of errors of judgement – Gerard’s slip(unfortunate but a mistake) and they got caught at the end when they pushed on trying to equalise.

    Chelsea seized the opportunity.

    Liverpool are a great side to watch but teams are aware of them now and they will experience more of this stuff as teams try to counter them. Does Rodgers need to develop a plan B to get ahead of the competition?

    Irony of ironies is that Mourinho castigated West Ham for doing something similar to Chelsea a few weeks ago but he obviously learned something from the experience. Good business practice?

    I feel that how you win is important in business and in sport but surely playing within the rules is what it’s all about. Great teams and players constantly push boundaries and think ‘outside the box’ – Davy Fitz(5 forwards), Jim McGuinness(blanket defence), Anthony Nash(penalties) are examples as indeed was Alf Ramsey all the way back with his revolutionary 4-4-2. They refuse to accept the status quo. Business quality or mean spirited?

    Chelsea could have played 4-4-2, had a gunfight with Liverpool, lost the match but won a moral victory. Good business?

    Really enjoy your posts by the way. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Michael brennan Says:

    I sense a large amount of bias here and possibly sour grapes and I am neither a Liverpool or a Chelsea fan, but a long suffering Leeds United fan who has seen the good days and the bad days. Mourinho played to his strengths on the day and came out on top. I also manage Soccer teams and choose the formation required to beat the team we are playing against, on the day, based on the type of players i have on the day and knowing the previous form of the opposition. I think Mourinho used the acronym SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound and certainly came out on top on the day. Business is something similar in that you have to play to your strengths, especially when you are a one man show, as in my case, trying to take on the bigger companies in my field. Every time I win a contract or even just a one off piece of work I would punch the air just like Mourinho.
    I give a good service and never feel like it is a win at all costs.

  3. Donagh Kiernan Says:

    Greg, i share your feelings on the game for the same reasons and bias.

    Technically Chelsea defending was super. Everyone expected this approach from Jose and Brendan Rogers should have had suitable counter approach.

    Jose’s provides the sideline entertainment while the boring style of on the pitch play.

    Chelsea won within the rules, but a tactic of play-as-little-football-as-possible with low, frustrating and dirty tactics, I never like it. Even when I Suarez falling over too easily looking for a free.

    It reminds me of reading Tim Ferris’ (“Four Hour Work Week”) winning a Chinese Kick Boxing championship by pushing much smaller lighter opponents out of the area to technically win but not fighting.


    • Greg Canty Says:

      Thanks Donagh – if he was Stoke City with average players you might half understand the approach – as I am writing this I am watching Real Madrid outclassing Bayern playing great football unlike the Jose style. How do talented players put up with it?

  4. Richard Cowman Says:

    I coach rugby at a senior level but low down the Divisions for me its about the way the lads are developing and play the game – winning often is not the be all and end all for me – however at the top level its a results driven business. I would like to think I would stick to my principles but……

    In business though my name and the company reputation is king so play the right way at all costs.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Great comments Richard – reputation is a long term thing and winning can be short term. Interesting that Chelsea lost at home to Athletico. Can you instruct a team to smother and spoil and then expect the to play the total opposite a few days later? Doesn’t work …

  5. socialbridge Says:

    Greg, I feel that ‘win at all costs’ is a dicey approach and one that causes faltering in the longer term though it may reap short-term ‘rewards.’
    Talent needs to be used and over-clever strategy and tactics can dull the talent down to such an extent that it smothers it beyond repair ~ like a shrub having its roots damaged.
    There are clearly huge similarities between ‘business’ and ‘sport’ ~ if a distinction can even be made between the two things.

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