Chelsea’s time-wasting was laughable, blasts ex-Liverpool defender
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Liverpool full-back Rob Jones doesn't blame Chelsea for parking the bus but felt their time-wasting was "laughable"
Rob Jones has criticised Chelsea’s “laughable” time-wasting tactics in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho adopted a defensive approach to the top-of-the-table clash as the Chelsea manager sought to counter the fast starts which have become synonymous with Liverpool’s home games during their 11-match winning run.
The Blues travelled to Merseyside after securing a valiant goalless draw at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final last week, and the visitors adopted a similar approach to the Premier League clash.
I understand teams will come to Anfield, and they know they’ve to hang on for a draw and park the bus up. I don’t mind that
Jones doesn’t blame Chelsea for “parking the bus”, or two buses according to Brendan Rodgers, but the former Liverpool full-back took issue with the visitors’ time-wasting at throw-ins, goal-kicks and over exaggerating injuries.
“I know some people are saying Jose Mourinho got his tactics right,” Jones told The Sport Review.
“I don’t mind Chelsea beating us 2-0, but for me personally, from the first 30 seconds when Chelsea had the throw-in and the ball is rolled to Ashley Cole who walks past it, that isn’t good play.
“They’ve obviously worked on it at the training ground. They’ve said, ‘Listen this is what we’re going to do, constantly waste time from the first 30 seconds, from the goalkeeper to the throw-ins and diving on the floor, acting injured’. It was a laughable.”
He added: “I understand teams will come to Anfield and they know they have to hang on for a draw and park the bus up. I don’t mind that. It is up to Liverpool to break Chelsea down.
“For me, it is the other side of it. I just thought it was bad sportsmanship.”
Jones played the majority of his Liverpool career under Roy Evans, with the ex-Reds manager famed for his attacking philosophy, much like current boss Rodgers.
The former England defender admitted that the Reds did “park the bus” on a couple of occasions, particularly in Europe, but he was never asked to time waste to such an extent during his playing career.
“I’ve never had that even when we were playing in Europe,” Jones added.
“OK, sometimes you’d park the bus up and defend but I’ve never been worked on the training ground.
“They must have worked it on the training ground, ‘pretend the ball isn’t there and look at someone else’, or, ‘when you go down, take longer’. I know it goes on.”
Brendan is probably thinking sort of why change it and we can break Chelsea down. It just didn’t happen
Liverpool were criticised for being naïve against Chelsea after adopting an overly attacking approach when a draw would have been sufficient to keep their title destiny in their hands.
But Jones, who was asked to help out coaching Liverpool’s up-and-coming stars by Rodgers during the campaign, backed the manager’s decision to continue with their style which has been so fruitful this term.
“Don’t forget, in the last couple of games Liverpool’s attacking play has been outstanding and it has been great to watch and it has worked,” Jones added.
“So Brendan was probably thinking, ‘Why change it? We can break Chelsea down’. It just didn’t happen [on Sunday].”
Liverpool remain top of the Premier League and two points clear of Chelsea, but Manchester City can finish ahead of the Reds on goal difference if the title contenders win their remaining games.
Rob Jones was widely regarded as one of England’s finest full-backs before his career was cut short due to injury. Check out the Liverpool legend’s story at www.robjonesbook.co.uk