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Jose Mourinho critical of Roy Hodgson and Vicente del Bosque's outdated strategies at World Cup

Utathya Nag
4.75K   //    26 Feb 2015, 19:09 IST
Mourinho feels Hodgson and Del Bosque couldn’t innovate during the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has criticised England coach Roy Hodgson and Spain manager Vicente del Bosque of being too cautious at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, in Alistair Campbell's new book. Mourinho said that the two veteran coaches failed to innovate during crucial moments of the tournament, sticking to ‘traditional’ coaching methods instead.

Campbell, who was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Director of Communications and Strategy from 1997-2003, talks to many ‘winners’ across the world, and his interview subjects cover a wide spectrum, all featured in his book ‘Winners and How They Succeed (Hutchinson)’ 

From the sporting world, the interviewees featured are Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and boxer Floyd Mayweather. There are also comments from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton on politics and Steve Jobs on business.

Mourinho, talking about last year’s World Cup in the book, said that England and Spain were in desperate need of a strategic change in important matches, but Hodgson and Del Bosque failed to deliver. Both teams were eliminated in the group stage. Mourinho however praised Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella for his team management during the tournament.

Mourinho talks about England’s match against Uruguay

The Portuguese believes that the difference between tactics and strategy highlights the importance of making changes during matches. He takes England’s 2-1 loss against Uruguay and explains why Hodgson should have tried something different.

He said, “They are losing and, if they lose, they are out of the tournament, so they have to score. They made two changes at 1-0 down. But when Roy Hodgson made these changes — Sterling out, Barkley in, then Lallana in for Welbeck — I couldn’t see a strategic change. Same tactical model, same system.” 

Mourinho says, “You are losing 1-0, you need to get a draw at least, so I say take one defender off and play three at the back, put an extra man to midfield/attack. 
“So maybe take off Baines and play Cahill sweeper, Johnson and Jagielka marking one each, an extra man to midfield or attack. Then Uruguay have to adapt.”

Similar reservations on Del Bosque’s handling of the Spanish team 

He said, “They [Spain] are losing — so Diego Costa out, Fernando Torres in. Why? Play them together. You need to change. They will say, ‘Ah, but Spain has its own system, its own philosophy’ — hell, if it is not working, you change.”

One of the key themes of the book is the difference between strategy and tactics. According to Mourinho, tactics are ‘the principles of the game, the model, the DNA of the team that forms the daily focus in training’ while strategy for him was ‘a particular plan for a particular game, depending on analysis of the opponents.’


Mourinho reiterated the importance of innovation because according to him, “everybody knows everything about everybody” in modern football. Players and coaches move around and take ideas with them leaving no tactic or strategy a secret for long. 

He said, “My assistant becomes a manager somewhere else. He takes with him everything we have done, all the knowledge. New ideas spread quickly. So keep having more new ones.”

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