There was nothing boring about the side that won these
Right, I've had enough of this "boring" business. I'll leave aside Mourinho's nonsense quote about 10 years without a Title being boring - that explains why Stamford Bridge was falling down for the best part of 50 years. I'll also leave aside the fact that Chelsea Football Club sees itself more offended by Arsenal fans singing "boring, boring Chelsea" than it was by clear evidence that their support is still badly infiltrated by overt racists. What I won't leave aside is this utter b******s that Chelsea's current style of play is no different to that which George Graham employed as Arsenal boss.
I've actually seen so called Arsenal fans, at least one of them a multi-published author of very entertaining historical works based on Arsenal (I'm talking to you, Jon Spurling), claim that we were more than happy at the way George's Arsenal won their Football League Championships in 1989 and 1991. Have you ever heard so much nonsense? Let me say at this point that, if George's team had won the league playing that way, I wouldn't care less. If I was a Chelsea fan now I wouldn't care less. They're going to win the Premier League. You can't argue with that. The media, who espouse their desire to see entertaining football however, should be doing more to criticise Mourinho for his style of play rather than trying to use the Arsenal fans reaction on Sunday to make the point - don't forget that "boring, boring Arsenal" was a myth created by the press many years ago. Chelsea are a team with great players, or so we keep being told, yet they are currently playing no football. Eden Hazard (ridiculously) is going to win both player of the year awards - how can that be in a side that doesn't entertain? Frankly there is no need for Mourinho to be bothered, aside from the fact that he has been sacked from Chelsea before for not entertaining Roman Abramovich enough with the football on the pitch. The fact is, however, that George Graham's teams that ended up as Champions were brilliant to watch. Don't let some prats wishing to re-write history tell you any different, whether they're Arsenal fans or not. Things changed after 1992, I will grant you that (none of us cared when the League Cup, FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup came home), but not the sides that won Division One.
Let's dispel this business about George's teams being defensive or purely long-ball. In the seasons of success between 1986 and 1992 George used midfield players and wingers like Steve Williams, Paul Davis, David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Brian Marwood, Anders Limpar, Paul Merson and Kevin Richardson. In attack we had Niall Quinn, Martin Hayes, Charlie Nicholas, Alan Smith, Merson (again), Kevin Campbell and Ian Wright. We also had top class attacking full-backs in Kenny Sansom, Viv Anderson, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon. Don't let anyone tell you that we were boring with footballers like that on the pitch. Was Anfield 89 boring? Where we were similar to the current Chelsea side was that we had fine goalkeepers and a well organised defence, marshalled by an exceptionally gifted centre-back and captain. The difference is that our defence allowed the midfield and attack to go and get goals. Yes, Chelsea are the second highest scorers in the division, but they are now content to get by doing just enough. It's good for them, and fair play to them, but it's awful to watch for everyone else. Of course, the press don't want to get on the wrong side of good old Jose as he might stop talking to them.
The worst thing about this Chelsea side is that they are the best in the country at the moment. That makes it even worse that they are playing the way they have done. They will probably go out and spank 5 or 6 goals past Leicester tonight because Mourinho has been pulled up lively by the reaction to Sunday. But it won't change the fact that their success is tarnished by a lack of ambitious play on the pitch. Could you ever have imagined the dominant Liverpool or Manchester United or Arsenal sides since the 1970s ever going in to a game with a rival and playing like that? Manchester City did it at Arsenal a couple of years back and Mancini got dogs abuse for it in the media - but they didn't like Mancini so that was alright as far as they were concerned. As I said above, you can't argue with what Mourinho is doing because it's a results business, but don't ever make out he wins Titles in the way George Graham did. And if you want to know just how good Arsenal were in 1988-89 watch this full season review from Youtube.