By Stevie Grieve
Since I was young, I have always had an interest in tactics, specifically successful coaches, or coaches who have seemingly come from nowhere. When Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto won the UEFA Cup in 2003 against Celtic, I enjoyed the direct style of play much more than I enjoyed watching Celtic’s direct style of play, mainly because it had some unpredictability, fluidity of movement and the talents of Deco as a number 10 in a midfield diamond.
Costinha’s role was an interesting one; a common thing in all of Mourinho’s teams has been the utilisation of a defensive midfielder who sticks to his position and protects the defence – Costinha, Claude Makelele, Esteban Cambiasso, Thiago Motta, Xabi Alonso, Nemanja Matic – but for me it was interesting because it was a ‘new’ position as I had grown up in Scotland with a 4-4-2 and no set defensive or attacking midfielder, and certainly not within a diamond midfield which is common in Switzerland and Italy.
Mourinho’s Porto were a strong defensive team with pace and efficiency in attack, with a good supporting cast in midfield in the form of Thiago, Nuno Maniche and super-sub Dmitri Alenichev.
Porto’s defensive solidity - Establish a block width, depth and compensation system
Wide area turnover; Porto drop off and form a flat back 4
As the ball is lost on the side instantly the back 4 drop off and get