The reaction of Malmo coach Uwe Rösler to Chelsea being horsewhipped 6-0 by Man City last weekend is a case of one man’s meat another’s poison. The meat in this case is the disheartening, almost inconceivable defeat, that has left Chelsea reeling.
You will often see managers being sympathetic towards their opposite numbers when times are tough but not so much for the Malmo trainer. As the Blues mull over whether to sack head coach Maurizio Sarri just seven months into his tenure, Rösler has only one thing on his mind. He aspires to inflict even more misery on the woeful Londoners.
As the two teams prepare to lock horns in southern Sweden on Thursday, Rosler is hoping that the Chelsea thumping by City can turn the tide in Malmo’s favor. With Chelsea currently a club and team in turmoil, the German trainer does not see a better time to face them.
“I was delighted,” quipped the Malmo boss when asked about the City game.
“It’s no secret, my connection and feelings for Manchester City. It was a delight to watch that game.”
Rosler: Malmo know Chelsea’s weaknesses
The 50-year-old further explained that even though Chelsea were clear favorites, his side knew which buttons to press against the 2013 Europa League winners. Bournemouth’s shock 4-0 win against Chelsea was cited as another blueprint to emulate.
“I don’t think we can take Chelsea on toe-to-toe in an open game. They can make it very difficult for a team like us with their pressing,” said the German.
“So it’s important we impress in the right areas. We know where they will press us and how we can get out of their press. I think we will get opportunities.
“We watched the Bournemouth game [which Chelsea lost 4-0], who play in a similar shape to us. I have seen areas we can cause them problems.”
The Malmo trainer went on to reveal his team’s mentality for the game, which was to show no mercy and give no quarter to the English strugglers.
“The mindset tomorrow is ‘no respect’. We have to play and be aggressive with and without the ball,” he continued.
“We have a plan. With a bit of luck and some outstanding performances, we have an outside chance of getting a result.”
Having started the competition as favorites, Chelsea will look to pass the Malmo test and indeed go on to clinch the trophy. With a top-four finish looking increasingly like a mirage, the Blues will take what they can get. The UEL is no longer a second-rate trophy now.
It could in fact save their season.
Header image: “Uwe_Rösler_03” (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by James Boyes