Petr Cech says Arsene Wenger’s football philosophy is completely different to Jose Mourinho’s ‘win at all costs’ attitude, however, he thinks the Gunners demonstrated an ability to balance grit with style at the tail-end of last season.
The veteran keeper played for Mourinho for four seasons, across two spells, at Stamford Bridge and came to expect an outpouring of frustration from the Portuguese if matches were not won. In contrast, Wenger prefers to put the emphasis on playing with verve.
Speaking to So Foot magazine [translated by the Evening Standard], Cech revealed: “When he [Mourinho] arrived at Chelsea from Porto, he brought with him one main thing: he came from a club where it was not acceptable to him to finish second in the championship. He brought the same spirit to Chelsea. He thinks only about victory, whatever the price.
“He hates draws. If we returned to the dressing room with a draw, we knew he would not be satisfied. On the other hand, he also wanted to be able to keep a 1-0 or beat a team 5-0 if possible. No matter how, Mourinho wants the result.
“The philosophy at Arsenal is completely opposed to this: it is not win at all costs but we want to win in a certain way. This approach is beginning to change.
“It is true that we are close to classical music, the beauty and the synchronisation of instruments,” he continued.
“It is a philosophy now anchored in the genes of the club: they refuse to play without and it is passed on from generation to generation.
“I believe that the right balance has been found last months of last season. The idea is to continue to control the match but securing more behind.”
Obviously, anybody watching the defeats at Stoke and Liverpool might argue that such ‘change’ only appears to be skin-deep. We’re guessing, but this interview may have been done before the recent setback!
Cech also touched on how the competitiveness of the Premier League has increased since he arrived in England in 2004.
“We finished [last] season fifth with 75 points. The previous season, we finished second with 71 points. We must see how the Premier League has evolved.
“When I arrived, there was Manchester United, not still really Chelsea, City did not count in the title race, Tottenham either.
“Today, the competition is crazy. Winning a match becomes more and more complicated each season.”