The anti-Mourinho Rant—with research!

I’m going to take a deep breath and count to ten, in part because getting upset is precisely what a guy like Mourinho wants people to do whenever he opens that mouth of his and starts talking, and in part because I prefer to avoid the cussin’ if I can. However, the absurdity of his comments on Friday deserve some kind of reply. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t come around this corner the web very much. Pity. I’d like to give him my two cents. He may need it to keep this little pony of his moving along.

Now, of course, it wasn’t entirely up to Mourinho. He was asked about Arsène’s own words when asked why some managers claim that they can’t win the Prem:

It is fear to fail. It is very open, only Chelsea can lose it because they are in front and all the other teams can win it. There’s nothing more to say. If you’re not in the race, you cannot lose it. If you declare yourself not in the race, you cannot lose it, simple as that.

These words were then put to Mourinho as part of the pre-match news conference ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup clash with Man City. He could have demurred or declined comment, pointing out that the news conference was for this match, but he didn’t. He couldn’t resist a chance to take a dig at Arsène. In fact, it seemed as if he deliberately kept the press waiting (a full 13 minutes) before coming out, as if he was winding himself up for that question or a chance to raise the issue himself. When the question did come, Mourinho spoke over the reporter to say ten words: “He is a specialist in failure. I’m not.” Mourinho expounded:

If supposedly he is right, and I am afraid to fail, it is because I don’t fail many times…The reality is that he is a specialist because eight years without a piece silverware, that’s failure. If I do that in Chelsea, I leave and don’t come back. I just say if Mr. Abramovich gives me eight years to prepare a team, which I don’t want him to give me, I don’t want, I just want my contract of four years to do my work.”

How bloody-blinkin’ blindered can one man be? Does he not hear the words coming out of his own mouth? Here’s a “manager” who, everywhere he has gone, has had his pick of players, whether it was at Chelsea the first time, when Abramovich spent nearly £370m in transfer-fees on players for Mourinho, burning through more than £245m on transfers in compared to revenue from transfers out. Did Mourinho refuse or complain about a team that Abramovich gave him, saying “I don’t him to give me”? Somehow, I doubt it. In fact, if anything, it seems that as the pace of spending slowed from a high of £140m in 2004-05 to “only” £55m in 2007-08, Mourinho might have started feeling a little nervous about his prospects.

Could it have been a fear of failure that fueled his departure? How to sustain the level of success he did enjoy if Abramovich was spending less on new playthings for Mourinho? Reports suggest that the relationship between the two had grown “increasingly troubled.” Hm. When he arrived at Inter in 2008-09, the club went all-in for him, just as Abramovich had done, splurging £120m over two seasons for him. Only the £60m sale of Ibrahimovic off-set the spending in any meaningful way. Whether that was down to Ibra’s own wanderlust or Mourinho’s desire to have the limelight to himself is for others to consider. It’s only at Real Madrid that the hyper-spending seems to predate Mourinho’s arrival. Then again, Madrid’s 2009-10 splurge of £225m for players might have been part of an agreement with Mourinho, whose celebration of Inter’s defeat of Barcelona in the Champions League might have had more to do with proving himself to Real Madrid than leading Inter. During his brief time there, Madrid found time to spend  £113m on players, going £115m past their transfer-revenues in the process. Upon Mourinho’s return to Chelsea, spent yet another  £115m on players, going a mere -£50m beyond revenues. You get my point by now.

Long story short, Mourinho comes across as a despicable and rapacious predator who can’t see past the point of his own nose. Equip with a bottomless budget with which to stockpile players, whether they’re bought to entice him to manager or after he’s come on, and, yes, he will succeed. How cani he fail? He’s been given every single, god-damned player he could ever even dream of needing—and then been given more, just in case his megalomaniacal insecurities haven’t yet been assuaged. Yes, he can be a brilliant tactician, but tactics tend to work a hell of a lot better when the larger strategy is to simply hoard players regardless of cost. Need a pacy, counter-attacking team? Spend. Need a squad that can park the bus for 90+ minutes? Spend. Want to have a go at some tiki-taka, just for the hell of it? Spend.

At the risk of getting pseudopsychological, Mourinho acts with the covetnousness and reckless acquisitiveness of a small child deprived at every turn. He’s the darker version of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka. Cruelly restricted from having a bit of candy, he turned himself into the ultimate candy-man, a cartoonish, bizarre caricature. So it may be with Mourinho. Cut from each team, scrounging for friends or teammates, he now goes around club to club, grabbing at clutching at every player he can find, keeping those who prove loyal, undermining those who dare criticize or question him—was he bullied as a child? Perhaps this is his revenge. He gets to be the bully, renting sidekicks and henchmen to do his dirty work for him.

However, there’s an emptiness to each success. Somewhere, gnawing at that place that most of call conscience but where there might be little more than a withered, blackened husk, grows a nagging, gaping doubt, an inescapable fear that no number of trophies, no amount of success, can ever assuage. Peering into that remorseless, bottomless maw, into which trophies and transfer-fees are perpetually poured, we see where the fear of failure comes from. No, Mourinho does not fail often. He literally can’t afford to. There is no amount of money he can’t spend, or have spent for him, to purchase the next success. Behind that seems to lie a fear that, should he fail despite the embarrassment of riches that he calls a roster, he would be exposed for the charlatan he is.

I’ll admit that there are some sour grapes here. After all, Chelsea has enjoyed a good deal of success in general and against Arsenal in particular under Mourinho. The contrast in their fortunes—yes, that works on several levels—is stark. It’s difficult to commit to a budget, harder to stay within that budget. It’s something all of us regular folk know all too well, and to see someone live so far from that kind of grind, and then kvetch about it, well, that takes genuine class. Mou positively oozes it. Sincerely.

I’ll just go get Sunderland and Man City on the phone to have them each apologize to him for daring to make him fail. What were they thinking?

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24 thoughts on “The anti-Mourinho Rant—with research!

  1. Anonymous

    typical Wenger-whining. why don't you get your manager to spend? Oh sorry, forgot mesut “what a waste of money” ozil. still interested in Ba? we could maybe make a deal–if you can still afford it!

  2. Anonymous

    typical mourinho-whining, we'll spend the money we make, just like mesut “giving the club a lift signing” ozil. not interested in Ba, how much are you going to get when you offload him? mourinho did time his comments perfectly though, loses to city the day after, haha. guess he's failed in the FA cup.

  3. Anonymous

    Mourinho is great when he has unlimited cash to spend. i wonder how he would have done as arsenals manager during the years of building the stadium when every time we started to build a team other cashed up teams offered them double or more to leave. Somehow i think he would have struggled to even achieve what Wenger has..

  4. Anonymous

    What is funny however is that Mourinho cant even keep his stories straight. One minute Arsenal are favorites for the title and then Wenger is the expert in failure. Which one is it Jose? Oh thats right you just say whatever comes into your head at that moment.

  5. Anonymous

    When history of the premier league is written, there will always be a question mark on his acheivements. Remember how he left Chelsea the last time. Once he did not get his wish of buying Dani Alves and defeats began to roll from all corners and it became obvious he would not win the league that year and would not even quality for the knockout stage of the champion's league, he started complaining of being given bad eggs to make good omllettes. If all goes well, it is due to his genius. If it does not go well, it is everyone else fault

  6. Anonymous

    that c^nt will say anything to get headlines, he's a relentless self-promoter. anything to be the story of the day. maybe he should have talked less about Arsene and prepared more for Man City.

  7. Anonymous

    Galatasaray will knock them out of the champions doubt moaningHO will say they didn't want to win that either.City are the realistic favourites for the league,But hopefully the Gunners will win it, Just to ram those words back down the cunty ones throat.

  8. Anonymous

    It's good to see the numbers, but honestly, it was unnecessary. Everyone knows Mourinho needs to burn hundreds of millions of pounds to get results, playing boring football while at it, and getting 'lucky' with referee decisions too. Even at Porto, which his admirers like to point to as proof that he isn't a chequebook manager, he had the luxury of managing players his club couldn't afford due to third party ownership being legal there. It wasn't a case of a small club with no resources winning the CL. It was a small club (in financial terms) boosted by investors who (presumably) all got their share once those players were moved on. Although I despise Mourinho, and even more, the media love-in that happens in England (they tired of him in Italy and Spain), I think these comments prove he's feeling the heat. Wenger got under his skin with the lightest of jabs, and Mourinho responds the only way he knows how. With a complete lack of class, hoping that his trophy haul will blind everyone to the moronic nature of his comments. Can't blame him. It usually does. But even the press have been a little uncomfortable with his latest outburst, and already he's sulking about the press always making him out to be the bad guy. This is what happens when someone starts believing their own press. They become a caricature of themselves. Oh, and as for Wenger. No trophies etc etc. But they wanted him at Real before Mourinho. They want him at PSG. He is always considered whenever there is an opening at Bayern, and he could probably get the Chelsea job if he ever felt like he wanted to indulge in some self glorification. Regardless of what the press constantly lead us to believe and what Mourinho might spout, Wenger's stock is high in the world of football.

  9. Anonymous

    Umm, Mourinho failed at Madrid. Hands down, no question. He had one team to compete with, and could barely compete at all. He had 1 competitor, Barcelona, and that made it the easiest league to compete in Europe from. He couldn't outspend them for every player, although he tried, because good players would rather play for Barca than for someone as limited as Jose. And he lost, and lost, and lost. He managed what, 1 league win? And a super copa. Yeah! Didn't even make the Champions league finals, and Barca basically owned him. His tenure at Real was an unmitigated failure, and that's why he left. The closest he has come to equal competition was in the most unequal league in Europe, and he was shown as someone who is only good at sending out the best players and trying not to lose.

  10. Anonymous

    Typical football fanatics who cannot be liberal and condem people when they're wrong. What Mourinho said was rude, lack of respect with no common sense. It's as simple as that, regardless of the club one supports. Let him go manage Norwich or Fulham and see how genius he his.

  11. Anonymous

    BTW he(EBOUE) did score vs Real in last seasons champs league… It was a beauty, hopefully he can get 2 more this time to rape that sob

  12. Anonymous

    Jose loves to rewrite history to conform to his view of the world at the moment. It would be interesting to read what he had to say after the Man City loss today (” I am trying to trap them into thinking they are better than us so that they will realx in their future BPL matches and we can win it all”)His approach reminds me of the story of a man walking through the forest and finding numerous trees with an arrow embedded in the their trunks – all in the center of a bull's-eye. He then comes upon the archer and asks: ” You are truly a great archer, may I watch your technique?” “Certainly”, replies the archer and he takes an arrow and fires it at a nearby tree. He then takes up a paint can from the ground, walks over to the tree and paints a bull's-eye around the embedded arrow.The ability of Jose to be successful with unlimited funds is much like those real-estate salespersons who bragged and advertised of successfully selling millions of dollars in homes during the height of the real-estate “bubble” a few years ago. A friend of mine said, at the time, “I cannot admire any of those salesperson who have sold that much property now. I will only admire one of them if he or she can sell that much property when the market crashes and interest rates are high. That is the truly good salesperson”.

  13. Anonymous

    One word for Mourinho he is rude arrogant worst of all uneducated and envises people who are learned he does all this to tract attention to himself so that he could be noticed. He chickens because Abromovich is not in a position to open his checkbook like he did before

  14. Anonymous

    Yeh i was thinking that Wenger had actually made Mourinho crack with a small comment. Mourinho's over the top and angry response tells me he is feeling the pressure and not handling it well.

  15. Anonymous

    mourinho's comments were out of arrogance and not rationality. we never looked at chelsea cause we were there before them and experienced all the joy and success. We will be there soon again

  16. Anonymous

    You're really wrong here.Mourinho won the Champions league with Porto , with a squad worth a small fraction of what Arsenal's expected team did that year.As you pointed out , most of his funds spent at Inter were offset by the sale of Ibra (are you saying Jose should have sat on the funds he got from selling Inter's best player? The rational thing is to buy reinforcement).The spending at Real Madrid predated his arrival as you admit (its laughable to insist that those guys were bought as part of an agreement with Mourinho with no evidence)And the net spend at Chelsea this season has only been about 45m (arsenal is at 35m for comparison) with several of the purchases of guys like Zouma who are prospects for the future.Your whole argument seems to be that Mourinho has spent a lot of money at several clubs and he cannot criticise Wenger because of this.This is ignoring the fact that other clubs like Wigan , Birmingham and Tottenham with small transfer budgets and smaller wage bills have pipped Arsenal to trophies , even though Wenger enjoys many financial advantages over them.The fact is that its perfectly fair to put Wenger's trophy record up for discussion , given how long they have failed to win for and how badly they had been performing up till this season.


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