Shaun Wright-Phillips has opened on how his former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho inspired him to mark Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2007 FA Cup final.
Man United faced their familiar foes in the Cup final and Ronaldo had a growing reputation of out-running defenders with his blistering pace. Mourinho drafted Wright-Philipps to the right-hand to help Paulo Ferreira stop Ronaldo who was menacing on the right flank.
The Special One’s tactics paid off as Didier Drogba scored the winner in extra time to clinch the FA Cup for the London club. Wright-Phillips explains how Mourinho’s tactics worked throughout that season and his impact on his career.
“Yes, I did – when he gave me a chance, the rest was down to me.
“I just had to get used to the fact that I’d come from a team where pretty much everything went through me, and at Chelsea there were loads of other players who were amazing at creating things and scoring goals. “Once I got used to that, I started to be more involved. “Mourinho was a revelation for me.
He was so premeditated in so many ways.
“We played Spurs in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and on the Thursday before the game he said, ‘This is the team, but be ready: if we’re losing, I’ll bring you on, we’re going to draw, and then we’ll go to White Hart Lane and win the replay.’
That’s exactly what happened. I scored in the replay, too. “We played Man United in the final and he said, ‘I’m going to ask something of you: don’t attack as much as normal I need you to track back and double up on Cristiano Ronaldo.’
“That’s what I did, and we won. Stopping Ronaldo scoring felt like I’d scored myself,” he told FourFourTwo.
Source: News update