"Players are the ones who bring victories, not formations…" Although this sentence was stated in different period and for other reasons, it best explains the essence of the football game. If the coach does not have players who can realize the imagined tactics, victory is impossible. On the other hand, the right players in the right positions can express what they want, regardless of the formation itself.
The case of Chelsea is one of many that confirm this rule - despite modern football and" fast and racing" tactics, in the 2004/2015 season José Mourinho outwitted all the great managers in the Premier League at the time.
Scoring goals is the purpose of football, but Chelsea’s success was based on building a strong defense. Mourinho primary goal was not to let the opponent play and score with a vision in which four members of the defensive line are an insurmountable obstacle.
15 goals received for the entire season - It was the most successful defense in the history of the Premier League. Many agree that a good defense brings titles, and José Mourinho proved that in the 2004/05 season with Chelsea. When we talk about the best defenders in the history of the Premier League, we would certainly not mention Ricardo Ferreira, even in madness. But if we are talking about the best defenses, then we have to mention him.
He was a member of the most successful defense in the history of the Premier League. With him in the line were John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and William Gallas. Behind them was the invincible Petr Cech, and in front of them the legendary Claude Makelele. This Chelsea defense has conceded just 15 goals for the entire season. In as many as 25 of the 38 games, they managed to save their net.
There was a lot of talk about Mourinho's "anti-football", but the Portuguese did not stress much about it. He based his entire season on a perfect defense, and it paid off handsomely. Anyone can say what they want, but the fact is that we have not seen such a compact defense after that, and the question is whether we will ever see it. The disciplined defensive four did not allow the opposing players to turn around, and the few shots that would have passed mostly ended up in the hands of the Petr Cech. Of course, Makelele was the first filter that was not at all easy to pass. That season, the "blues" conceded only six goals at Stamford Bridge!
Of course, Mourinho also had great names in the attacking part of the teams, so Chelsea won a record 95 points (for them) at the end of the season.
An English tabloid has offered a prize of £10,000 to the player who scores the first goal against Chelsea next season. It took almost 10 hours of football until that happened.
Today many are against this kind of playing and tactic and even the Chelsea has changed a lot and today plays one of the most attacking football in England and Europe with many world-class strikers.
Also, the style of playing today is noting alike the one in 2004/05, and it is questionable if some club can do it again now in a league with Manchester City, Liverpool, today’s Chelsea etc.