Former Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge has blasted the negative tactical approach some managers adopt, insisting they are ruining the game.
Aldridge, who scored 19 goals in 69 appearances for Ireland, also praised Jurgen Klopp’s attacking tactical approach used at one of his former clubs, Liverpool.
Using their recent victory over Manchester City as an example, he compared the approach Liverpool adopted with the ‘flat back ten’ Mourinho used when his Manchester United side played City.
Writing in the Irish Independent, Aldridge said:
“The 4-3 scoreline flattered City as they were well beaten and it confirmed my belief that Liverpool are not too far behind the league leaders, even after the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
“Of course, not many Premier League teams have an attacking set-up to match Liverpool’s, but compare the way Jurgen Klopp approached the game on Sunday to Jose Mourinho’s flat back ten plan when his Manchester United team played City.
“That was an embarrassing performance from a club of United’s stature and I can understand why their fans were ashamed of what they saw, with Liverpool’s display against the same opponents showing what is possible with a little ambition.”
Looking at the statistics, Aldridge does have a point about the different approaches and which is more successful.
United had 35% possession and managed just eight shots on goal when they lost 2-1 at home to City in December.
Liverpool had similar possession stats when they played City, but their pressing and counter-attacking approach saw them have 16 shots and find the net four times.
Aldridge then ended his rant claiming that managers like Mourinho and Everton boss Sam Allardyce are ruining football with negative tactics.
“Football should be about trying to win rather than avoiding defeat, but managers like Mourinho and Everton boss Sam Allardyce are ruining this game with their negative tactics and we should celebrate exciting games like the one we all enjoyed on Sunday.”
Aldridge’s comments are certainly interesting and, some would say, warranted.
It will be interesting to see if other teams adopt the same tactical approach against the current Premier League leaders as Liverpool did and if it has the same level of success.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena