The Special One, Undone.

photo credit: Ronnie Macdonald via photopin cc

photo credit: Ronnie Macdonald via photopin cc

Somewhere, someone is laughing at José Mourinho. I assume London to be a loud city, and presumably Mourinho has a nice residence within it. But he hears it all the same. The sound keeps him up at night, and his wife simply doesn’t understand. “What sound?” she’ll ask. He won’t answer. Somewhere, someone is laughing at José Mourinho. And he can’t stand it. 

Mourinho can handle losses. No manager is invulnerable, he understands, and though he’d love a world in which Chelsea never lose, Mourinho reluctantly accepts the world that exists. What Mourinho can’t handle is the notion that people are wrong. He feels that the media has misconceptions about him and his style of play, and this enrages him. It is his life’s mission to set them straight, like this XKCD comic come to life.

So when fans were upset by his lineup selections for Chelsea’s match against Liverpool, Mourinho worked out a win anyways. When the media accused him of parking the bus at Anfield, Chelsea came out much more open against Atletico Madrid. When Eden Hazard said that “Chelsea aren’t set up to play football,” Mourinho benched him for the against Norwich. And after being forced to bring Hazard on at half-time, and failing to score against lowly Norwich, Mourinho accused the Canaries of parking the bus.

Look at this. It’s a masterwork. He begins with the (impressive but incorrect) logical wrangling that supposes Norwich needed three points and Chelsea just one. The joke about Arsene Wenger is his stranglehold on the “Fourth Place Cup,” but Mourinho spends this interview inventing the Third Place Cup. He refuses to even acknowledge the notion that Chelsea might have wanted a win to stay in the title race. It’s been a common theme this season; he has regularly downplayed Chelsea’s title contention. He’d have you believe that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is a mild-mannered man who is wholly content with the glories of Champions League qualification. If Mourinho wasn’t a football manager, he’d be a lawyer, a politician, a member of a debate team, something, anything that would allow him to showcase his intellect to all willing to listen. But one wonders if he actually believes what he says.

Chelsea’s season has come unraveled in less than a week, and the blame falls on Mourinho as much as anyone. His hubris has gotten the best of him, and those who think he’s wrong may just have a point this time. Mourinho will spend all of next season, if not more, on a vendetta against the critics. Wins are nice, but being right is better. This is his motivation. Not that he’d ever admit it.


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