Jose Mourinho just damaged his chances of a Premiership return

Jose Mourinho Tito Vilanova.jpg
As Bashar Al Assad looks on Mourinho scoops dirt out of Tito Vilanova’s eye
There has been much talk of a Jose Mourinho return to the Premiership after his Real Madrid spell. It has been fueled partially by conjecture but mostly by the man himself who has talked of the emotional pull of his days at Chelsea. On the face, he has an impeccable lineage, taking each of his teams to the top, in three different leagues. Real Madrid waits in the wings for a Barcelona stumble for him to accomplish his own personal goal. He should be on the top of every coaching wishlist.
In his quest, Mourinho has become the master of mind games, by insinuation, milking every weakness, and wrecking every semblance of self esteem. In Italy he enraged his rivals rubbing their faces in zero tituli derision. While at Chelsea he often delighted in skewering Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez while maintaining a personal friendship with Sir Alex. Which forms sort of basis for why some see him as a heir apparent to the Man Utd manager who has furthered that notion by singing his praises. The psy ops warfare on his opposition often mean spirited, nevertheless, were looked on by many, as entertaining diversions, to the build up to the game. Mourinho also used the media to paint himself as a persecuted man constantly at odds with the establishment. It was all good theatre which was best of all, free.
Yet, what he did the other day at Barcelona clearly crossed the line. Verbal jousting is one thing, trying to deliberately maim a member of the coaching fraternity just sent it out of the ball park. Paul Hayward mentions him as being out of control. I tend to agree with commentators pointing to his measured walk to Tito Vilanova, trying to gouge out his eye, and walking back with a smirk as the actions of man who clearly and malevolently set out to deliver a clear message of intimidation.
Mourinho choosing the banality of evil turned what was actually an engrossing match full of rightful drama on the pitch into a tragic sideshow. It takes away from the fact that an outstanding Real team forced a magnificent response from Barca to beat them. The second leg was a fitting coda to the first till it dissolved into an orgy of extra-curricular activity. The post mortem has not been pretty. The biggest fear is Mourinho might finally deliver a meaningful title for Madrid but by then Spanish football would would look like the bastard child of Steve Tyler and Roseanne Barr. La Liga would be the black hole of nothingness as other clubs are sucked into the vortex by the immense gravitational pull of these two clubs.
In England, the very thought of diving sent Joey Barton into paroxysms. For a player who has had his share of acting out, this represents a return to a very rudimentary sense of conscience. But if Barton is a troubled soul what is one’s reaction to nihilism?
Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger don’t pretend to be good friends but even at its bitterest the rivalry between Man Utd and Arsenal was played out on the pitch with the managers maintaining a cordial relationship. Sir Alex even went as far as making a personal plea to fans to stop chanting that ugly pedophilia ditty that goes on tap every time Wenger makes an Old Trafford appearance. And last season Wenger heard no end of it for refusing to shake Kenny Dalglish’s hand after that deflating draw. He was excoriated on both sides of the aisles for being a poor loser.
When you think of such instances as representing the skew in English decorum within members of the coaching fraternity, Mourinho’s actions begin to take on perspective. Many will point to Mourinho’s less amicable departure from Barca as the starting point for these troubles. And the well known distaste of Madridistas for a club associated intimately with Catalonian autonomy. There is always an edge to these El Clasicos which is why they’re one of the most anticipated matches in the world. A chip on the shoulder if harnessed well is a good thing. But the combination is proving to be poisonous.
Imagine Mourinho if he came to Utd. There is just a hint that Roberto Mancini (who he replaced at Inter) and City could end a one sided derby. All it would take is a polarizing figure like him for all hell to break loose. Riots. Who wants that? More likely, Mourinho comes out so damaged by the end of his Real Madrid career, he’s virtually unemployable. Well, there is always Rupert Murdoch, his kindred spirit who could use his talents to start Gouge Eye News. On the other hand there could also be a more salubrious result. Like the epiphany of the emperor Ashoka renouncing war after surveying the death and destruction on the battlefield of Kalinga. We hope.

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4 comments on “Jose Mourinho just damaged his chances of a Premiership return
  1. Mourinho was out of order, certainly, but some of the things Barcelona did were worse. Namely the hour and a half of racial abuse that Marcelo received from the home crowd, which, sadly, has gone almost completely unmentioned in the aftermath of this game. But, I suppose FIFA and UEFA don’t want their poster team being accused of one of the worst crimes in football, so they just hide it as best they can. They should be forced to play a match behind closed doors for the actions of their fans. Instead, they’ll just get away with it, and Mourinho will probably get a ban for something far less significant and damning.
    Mourinho isn’t damaging Spanish football like a one man demolition crew, though. Barca and Real both are rapidly annihilating their league, with their unstoppable superiority and financial rape of every other team in the league. They cheat almost as much off the pitch as they do on it. That’s why players are going on strike. That’s why their current system isn’t sustainable. I hope it comes crashing down around them soon. For as pretty as their passing might be, their ethics, or complete lack thereof, can never be accommodated for in my world.
    For all the mistakes United or Arsenal may have made leading to debt and more frugal days than they would have initially hoped for, I think any self respecting fan would rather support either of those teams. At least they keep their dignity. And for these ridiculous circumstances, you are correct to say that Mourinho may be costing himself the future United job. Only time will tell.

  2. Andrew, the racial abuse of Marcelo is unforgivable. But it is hardly confined to Barca. It’s a Spanish phenomenon and not a terribly new one. Thierry Henry was subjected to it and so was Shaun Wright Phillips. I do agree La Liga is in great danger of being engulfed by these two clubs who will drive other clubs into irrelevance as they wage war on each other. Mou’s actions cannot be condoned however because it represents a new low. His coaching seems to be secondary to his transformation into a rabble rouser. Which does little to differentiate him from the fan who abuses Marcelo. All they bring to the game is ill repute. At this point Man Utd is better served looking for someone else after Sir Alex’s retirement because Manchester could become a tinderbox of seething grievances with him in charge.

  3. There was racial abuse on Alves in Bernabeu too, and Mou didn’t touch his nose for Messi but Alves (anyway, Madrid has more powerful loudspeakers for his propaganda than any other). And well, Mourinho is damaging Spanish football, I tell you. Maybe it is different in England, but in Spain you can read the history of Spain watching football. He is playing with fire all the time, and it seems he doesn’t know where he is. All teams have a past in La Liga, some are linked to Franco and old power, like Real Madrid of course, and Mou likes to dismiss every single “small” team (I’m a Spaniard, a Celta de Vigo supporter). He dismisses what is not from Madrid, what is not “truly” Spanish and stuff, saying things like “As a Portuguese, I cannot understand why bla bla bla”. He is playing with fire, just to get a title (he is so obsessed with Barca). And now he is like the leader of a sect. Mourinho and his followers are destroying (Spanish) football. That’s my opinion, and some (probably many) merengues would agree with me.

  4. Ben, I remember the abuse on Alves. Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for the insight into Spanish football and its traditions – a lot of it is very political and reflect the autonomous nature of the regions. Mou probably believes by reminding everyone that the “real” seat of power is Madrid he can use it to be even more divisive. Hopefully the Merengues realize that there is a huge price to pay with him in charge.

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