West Bromwich Albion Fan View: Frustrating Mourinho at his own game

Nathan Bliss

After a sensational result against Arsenal in their last Premier League fixture, the Baggies faced a very different test this weekend, as they travelled to Old Trafford to take on Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Most Albion fans would not have been surprised to learn that Tony Pulis went all out defensive for this game, sticking ten men behind the ball and trying to frustrate United at home.

We’ve seen this tactic employed many times under our current manager, with mixed results, but recently he’s got it spot on.

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Although we didn’t venture as far forward as we did against Arsenal, defensively the team was superb, and we fully deserved the point.

United’s first shot on target came midway through the second half, and they only had three on target in the whole 90 minutes, that’s how effective our defensive setup was. When our defence was breached, which it rarely was, Ben Foster was absolutely terrific yet again.

We only really had two chances to score in the whole game, and both were half-chances at best, both fell to ex-United midfielder Darren Fletcher. The first came from a pull-back from Craig Dawson, on a rare forward run, but Fletcher could only scuff the shot towards a United defender.

The second would have been a goalkeeping howler from De Gea had it gone in, although it was well struck, it would have been a massive slice of luck for us.

I understand the criticisms that come from playing the way we do, it may not be pretty or good to watch, but against the big boys away from home, what can you expect us to do? If we matched them and tried to play expansive football, they would kill us, so it was the best way of getting a result.

The only frustration from my point of view, is that when we play like this against teams of a similar quality, but that has been eradicated this season and we’ve really had a go at teams, especially at home.

Four points from games against Manchester United and Arsenal? I’ll take that all day long.

As for Jose Mourinho’s criticism, I find it laughable, and extremely hypocritical. Mourinho used the same tactics we did, against Liverpool at Anfield as early as THIS season, getting a 0-0 draw.

This is a man who has made a career out of shutting out opponents. For Chelsea against Liverpool, Inter Milan against Barcelona, I could go on and on.

Hard luck Jose, we out Mourinho’d you. But I think the correct term is, you’ve been Pulis’d.

Boing Boing!

 

 

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