Jose Mourinho praises 'managers who know how to park the bus'
LONDON -- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho coined the phrase "parking the bus" and now he has offered up comical praise of the negative game plan.
Mourinho first used to the term to describe the defensive approach deployed by Tottenham boss Martin Jol and his team as they ground out at 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in 2004 and it has become commonly used in the game in the 11 years since.
Chelsea were accused of deploying defensive tactics as they edged towards the finish line in this season's Premier League title race, but Mourinho offered this reflection of one of his trademark phrases as he spoke at the launch of BT Sports new European football channel in London.
"First of all I have a lot of respect for the bus drivers," he said with a smile to the assembled audience. "You have to be very, very good to be a good bus driver.
"To park the bus, you need help to park the bus. Without that help, you will crash the bus. So a bit of credit go to the bus drivers, or the managers who know how to park the bus.
"Football is about moments. It is very difficult to have one game from the first to the last minute to have only one game. Sometimes you dominate, sometimes you are dominated. Sometimes the opponents are on top of the game and you have to play different games within a game. This is not easy to do it.
"The same way, the bus driver needs a lot of experience and a lot of training to park the bus. In football, it takes times and work to understand this. Sometimes I feel that my guys work really hard and while all footballers would like to go to the pitch and have fun, sometimes it is not always like that.
"Chelsea this season was ready for everything. They were ready to park the bus and also to play great football. If you go to Chelsea 6, Everton 3 [last August], we parked the bus very, very badly that day as we conceded three ridiculous goals."
Mourinho went on to suggest his Inter Milan side that won the Champions League in 2010 and his Real Madrid team that lifted the Spanish title in 2012 would not have thrived in the Premier League, as those squads were set up to meet the demands of their own domestic competitions.
"My Real Madrid team, the couldn't defend a corner," he said in a typically disparaging comment. "They could score five, six, seven goals in a game, they could destroy every team, but they couldn't defend a corner.
"If you come to the Premier League and you can't defend a corner, you lose even in the cup against a League Two team.
"It depends on the characteristics of the league. My Inter Milan team were fantastic domestically and in European competition, but they would be in big trouble in the Premier League because of the way they play.
"When I move to a different country, I have to make a reset to my ideas, a reset to my team profile and start again. You have to understand the characteristics of the league you are in."