Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar has slammed Chelsea’s negative tactics in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona and states Barcelona ‘must win for the sake of football’.
The former Holland international told the Daily Mail:
“For the sake of the game and for football in general, I hope Barcelona win in the Nou Camp.
I love teams who attack. Chelsea did nothing but defend with nine players and kept lots of players in the middle of the park. But this tie could have been over by now.
I expected Chelsea to lose by a big figure. And it could still have been 5-1 to Barca at the end.
Chelsea had just one shot at goal – and they scored”.
Van Der Sar is not the only near-sighted former professional to slam Chelsea.
Ronald Koeman, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 1992, also slammed the negative tactics of Roberto Di Matteo’s side:
“As a coach, I could never let my team play like Chelsea did against Barcelona.” Didier Drogba’s goal, from Chelsea’s one strike on target, gives the Blues something to defend in the Nou Camp on Tuesday”.
Koeman added: “I watched Chelsea defend for 90 minutes and I was appalled they did not try to make something more of the game. I have no admiration for Chelsea’s approach.
And, let’s face it, this tie could have been all over by now. Barcelona could easily have won in London.
Let’s hope football will be the winner this week and the team with the best approach goes to the final.
It is the moment when a team like Chelsea have the chance to create something and they won’t which annoys me. As a team, you can’t sit back and wait for Barcelona all the time”.
I respect Van Der Sar as a goalkeeper and he will forever be one of the Premier Leagues best ever keepers, as for his knowledge of football, I’ve lost all respect for the man.
It seems everyone wants us to try and play Barcelona at their own game, which will only end in defeat. Ask Sir Alex about trying to play Barca at football, Man United tried and failed miserably in the 2011 final. If Ferguson had employed ‘negative’ tactics and won would he, the players or the supporters be moaning, of course not. For that matter though neither would bitter ex-professionals like Van Der Sar because everything Ferguson does is pure gold.
Every single football fan or person with any knowledge of football knows their team must employ the right tactics to win the match. Against certain teams this is attack and against others it is defend, simple.
Stoke City have suffered this criticism since their promotion but by employing these tactics and ignoring the media slamming they are now an established Premier League side.
I do not argue that we ‘parked the bus’ against Barcelona and will do again on Tuesday but when all is said and done and we are in the Champions League final, will we care?
Too many sides try to play Barcelona, Man United, Arsenal, Real Madrid have all tried and failed so why should we follow suit and let them walk into the Champions League final?
As for the ‘for the sake of football’ comment, I’ve never heard something so ridiculous in all my life. If he wants to talk about the sake of football then we need to beat Barcelona to prove they are not unbeatable! Real Madrid look like they’ve wrapped up the La Liga title and if we knock them out of the CL then this competition between clubs can only be healthy.
This sounds very much like sour grapes from Van Der Sar because we did what he and Man United couldn’t do in his last ever match…Beat Barcelona.
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