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October 2016
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Let’s see the funny side of Mourinho

Let’s see the funny side

Tim Charlesworth

I’m really going to stick my neck out here, and post a defence of public enemy number one, Jose Mourinho.

Everything I have ever read about this highly successful manager suggests that he is a perfectly reasonable chap, who spends time with his family, and has a sense of perspective about football, which he sees as a job, not a calling.  Some of the comments that he makes are really quite funny if you step away from the emotion of it all.  He is quick-witted, intelligent and has a real eye for the one liner (‘the special one’ resonates almost as strongly as Shankly’s joke that football was much more important than life or death).

It’s a curious thing, that in the world of football, we don’t seem capable of giggling.  So when Mourinho describes Costa as ‘man of the match’, instead of laughing at what is actually quite a good joke, we are outraged by it.  Anyone who watched the match, and Mourinho is obviously an intelligent observer, knows that Costa played poorly and should have been sent off.   Actually, by a huge stroke of luck and refereeing incompetence, Costa won the match for Chelsea.

This is ironic on a number of levels.  Lest we be in any doubt that Mourinho is joking about Costa being man of the match, he says that he is looking forward to going to the rugby tomorrow, directly after talking about Costa’s performance.  This comment is unnecessary and redundant, unless we understand the implication that Costa’s behaviour was more appropriate to the rugby field.  Mourinho is not only making a joke, but goes to the trouble to add on a comment of such stupidity that one can be left in no doubt that he is being ironic.  Yet, of all the things I have read about the match, no-one comments on what a good joke this is.  Now certainly, it is not so funny if you are an Arsenal fan.  The joke is very much at our expense, but its still only a joke.   As football fans, we can surely live with a bit of banter (or even admire it)?

Its not really Mourinho’s fault that no-one appears able to see the joke.  To make it worse, we read all sorts of nonsense into Mourinho’s comment.  We think that Mourinho’s game plan was to cheat and wind Arsenal up.   We conclude that he knew what he was doing all along and his cheating master plan came up trumps.  This is ridiculous.  Maybe this is why Mourinho likes England so much.  I don’t think his jokes are taken so seriously elsewhere.

Let me assure you, Mourinho is not clever enough to orchestrate what happened on Saturday.  (We will assume for the sake of this article that the referee wasn’t bribed – I know it looked like he was, but this is actually quite unlikely).  Mourinho is not omnipotent.  He is just a normal human being who is quite good at managing football teams.  Mourinho may well have suggested to Costa that he try to irritate the Arsenal defenders, he certainly wouldn’t be the first sports coach to suggest such a thing.  Costa also doesn’t need much encouragement from his manager on this front, he is naturally annoying.  Mourinho  wouldn’t have based his whole game plan on this idea (he is far too good for that), and he certainly wouldn’t have suggested the kind of assault on Koscielny, which in normal circumstances would lead to a red card and a ban (as of course happened although it took a while.)

So why don’t we laugh at Mourinho?  He is quite clearly funny.  His witticisms are in the same class as Shankly and Clough, and we had no trouble laughing at them (actually we laughed with them, not at them).  Is it something to do with him being foreign?  Does his Portuguese accent somehow make us less inclined to think he is joking?  Do we incorrectly ascribe his humourful tones of delivery to a lack of familiarity with English pronunciation?  Are we fooled by his deadpan mode of delivery – surely not, this style of comedy is as old as the hills, or at least as old as Jack Dee.

I suspect that the standard of journalism is partly to blame.  Most football commentators nowadays are ex-pros rather than professional journalists.   Can we be surprised that ex-pros in a sport that encourages people to leave school at sixteen don’t make very insightful journalists?  The shocking standard of journalism in English football is often commented on by UA.  In fact, people are increasingly turning away from mainstream media towards sites such as UA in search of reasoned analysis.

Mourinho’s jokes are also perhaps a bit more edgy than Shankly and Clough.  For example, his descriptions of Wenger as a ‘voyeur’ and a ‘specialist in failure’ are quite funny, but also lack grace.  They are memorable because they have a ring of truth to them.  Wenger is a voyeur (dedicated student of the game is a kinder description), compared to Mourinho, who does not live and breathe football in the way that Wenger does.

Mourinho also feels a little upset that he was sacked by Chelsea in 2007 despite being considerably more successful than Wenger during the preceding three years.  I think Mourinho bears a genuine grudge about this incident which forced him to move his family away from a home they loved.  Wenger was kept on for a number of reasons.  For example, he was working with less money than Mourinho.  He also generates value for the club by developing young players in a way that Mourinho does not (Mourinho sold De Bruyne, Wenger kept Coquelin).

Wenger is also a good corporate man who looks after the long term interests of the club by building new facilities, investing in coaching and seeking value in the transfer market.   Mourinho, by contrast, is only interested in winning football matches.  And we must sympathise with Mourinho’s point.  After all, winning is the most important function of a manager.  He feels aggrieved that he was rewarded with the sack, despite doing better in his primary function than a rival, Wenger.  The ‘specialist in failure’ comment is a pithy and witty way of expressing this frustration.

So let’s look at what has really happened.  A manager is under terrible pressure because his (champion) team has had a terrible start to the season.  He has then had an immense slice of luck.  He should have had a player sent off, and lost another game at home.  Such a result would have threatened his job, his livelihood and a reputation he had spent nearly twenty years building up.  Instead of sending Costa off, the referee made a horrific error, and actually sent off one of the opposition players for retaliating to the original, unseen, offence.  This is even better (from Mourinho’s perspective) because the opposition is a genuine rival.  As a result, you have been gifted your first, desperately needed, home league victory of the season, lazy pundits will talk of a ‘turnaround’ and confidence around the club will be generally boosted.   At the end of this game, you are naturally on a high.  Being an intelligent and witty man, you then make a joke about it.  You say that Costa was the man of the match.  Of course, he was in a way.  He really did win the match.  He did it by cheating, in a manner which is an affront to the sport of football.  But actually this makes it even better, because it’s the unearned victories that really make a difference to your final league position.

Mourinho is a competitor, who sees football as a competition, not a pure art (he is very different to Wenger in this).  Annoying a ‘poncy’, ‘snooty’  purist like Wenger (who thinks he is better than you, despite the relative lack of silverware!) actually makes the whole thing better from Mourinho’s perspective.   He doesn’t really care how Chelsea won, he just wanted to win.

What I think, cannot be denied, is that my favourite manager of all time, does not like Mourinho.   He doesn’t like him one little bit.  The handshake nonsense is not all a media invention.  If you look at Wenger’s body language, he genuinely doesn’t want to touch Mourinho.  By contrast, Mourinho sees the funny side and never wants to miss a chance to make Wenger uncomfortable by shaking his hand (Wenger had a similar issue with Ferguson).    Wenger doesn’t like what Mourinho  stands for, the way he does it, and the sort of football be promotes.  I love Wenger, but he singularly lacks a sense of humour when it comes to football matters (his sincerity is one of the reasons that he is so good).  Wenger most definitely does not find Mourinho amusing.  This is a genuine clash of personalities.

Wenger’s teams have been consistently more fluid passers, less inhibited and less defensive.  Mourinho’s teams are consistently more defensive, more physical and more disciplined.   Wenger sees magic in football, Mourinho sees a battle.  They are both great managers, and actually their rivalry is good for the game, just as Borg/MacEnroe was good for tennis, Prost/Senna was good for F1 and Ashour/Matthew was good for squash (sorry, I’m a squash fan and couldn’t resist this one).

My suspicion is that history will be kinder to Wenger than Mourinho, because Wenger has contributed positively to the overall way that the game is played.  I also suspect that history will treasure Mourinho’s witticisms for what they are.

We love Wenger on this site, and we will always support him.  But let’s not deify him.  His lack of a sense of humour about football, allows Mourinho to wind him up.  By taking Mourinho’s comments seriously we add to some kind of nonsense mythology about the man.  He is not that clever, and dignifying his jokes with serious analysis implies some kind of mystic power, which he most certainly does not have.   So can I politely suggest to my fellow fans that we draw the following conclusions from Saturday:

  1. Mourinho was incredibly lucky
  2. He is an enemy of pure football, as Wenger sees it, but ‘vive la difference’ as they say in Alsace
  3. He is a witty man, and his comments about Costa are actually quite funny.   Don’t let him wind you up.  Have a giggle, see him for what he is, and move on.  Actually the injury to Coquelin worries me far more than the result on Saturday.

In my final attempt to cheer the Goonersphere up, I simply have to include a Shankly joke that I came across in researching this article.  I desperately tried to work it into the article, but failed.  Nonetheless, I think it stands on its own:

[dismissively responding to a journalist who asked if he had taken his wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present] “Of course I didn’t take her to see Rochdale as an anniversary present…….It was her birthday.  Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.


The petition “Prevent Mike Dean from refereeing another Arsenal game” needs just 500 more signatures to reach 90,000.  Please sign up if you agree.

The anniversaries

23 September 1995: Dennis Bergkamp scored his first two goals for Arsenal, and in the 4-2 defeat of Southampton at Highbury.  Adams and Wright scored the other goals to make it seven unbeaten.

23 September 2008: Arsenal put out a youth team and beat Sheffield U 6-0 in League Cup.  Fabianski, Hoyte, Djourou, Song, Gibbs, Randall, Ramsey, Merida, Wilshere, Bendtner, Vela.  Among the substitutes was Francis Coquelin.


55 comments to Let’s see the funny side of Mourinho

  • apo Armani

    Interesting and well written piece Tim…but!

    I find absolutely NOTHING funny about Mourinhoo and his methods of ‘football’. He is destructive to the game, sets his teams (regardless of the talent he has in all the teams he has had) to go out and play negative and in some cases (see Arsenal) DIRTY!

    What Costa did wouldn’t even be tolerated in MODERN rugby – he would be sin-binned in a blink of an eye!!!

    I watch much Rugby…I grew up in New Zealand, hell I even trained with a couple All Blacks in my winter training. Rugby has changed many of its rules – it had to make the game safer and FAIR!

    I look forward to the day – these type of THUGS and their SMART-ASS approach to their sensible counterparts – are out of the beautiful game!

  • DR

    I can’t see it.

    I was assuming it was irony throughout most of the piece, but not so sure by the end. He is a smartarse, which should be separated from actual wit, as one is an appreciation of language, and the other is an appreciation of ones self.

    I would take issue with the thing about journalists, the journalists are the guys that write pieces which seem to colour public opinion, rather than the pundits appearing on TV, and most of them are journalists rather than former players. Mourinho being Mourinho sells papers.

  • dan

    I recall an (cant remember the name) article about an nfl team with the win at all costs attitude, this attitude spread within the league, plunging a generation of players relying on gamesmanship and physicality instead of real talent.

  • Tim Charlesworth

    DR – I don’t think anyone would dispute that Mourinho is a smartarse. It was he, after all who came up with ‘the special one’. Clough was also a smartarse of the highest order. Clough was also a bully and an alcoholic. I’m not sure I would have liked to spend too much time socially with either of them. Nonetheless, they are both witty and interesting men who achieve inexplicable results (Forest and Porto winning the European Cup). They are worth listening too, and also worth laughing at. In neither case should you take their words too seriously.

  • Florian

    Whether this is all a joke depends indeed on the angle. The problem I can see is that by losing the game Arsenal were robbed of points which at the end of the season will likely translate in lost positions in the standings and hence lost money. That is nothing to joke about.

  • nicky

    Mourinho is showing all the signs of acute paranoia.
    His pathetic attitude towards Dr Eva, the team medic, who quite rightly went on to the pitch at the request of the referee.
    And then, after Costa was clearly shown to be a psychopath, to name him as his MOTM.
    The guy is clearly feeling the pressure of managing a boring and disconnected team. I’m afraid that without medical attention, his days are numbered.
    Abramovitch won’t accept a prima donna manager.

  • Tim Charlesworth

    Its interesting to reflect on the similarities between Clough and Mourinho. I have never had Mourinho down as a bully (Van Gaal on the other hand….). Perhaps in the modern age of super-rich, superstar footballers, it is simply not possible to bully players the way Clough did. Interestingly, the Caneiro incident suggests that Mourinho may have a bit more of the Clough ‘bully spirit’ than first appears! On a related note, I note that a lot of Untolders are in favour of Arsenal employing Caneiro. This is surely a brilliant idea. By all accounts she is excellent at her job, and Arsenal could surely use a bit more medical expertise. If we can find a way to get her on the bench on matchdays, this would be pure magic. Can I suggest a pro-Caneiro song to be sung at the next home game, to get the message across to Arsene and the Board? Something along the lines of ‘we want Caneiro’ (I will leave the exact composition to my more musically gifted fellow Gooners)

  • DR

    Oh, I don’t take what Mourinho says seriously, but I wouldn’t consider it witty either.

    Cloughie was a smartarse, an alcoholic, a bully AND he was funny. Mourinho is a smartarse, insecure, arrogant, and NOT funny. Different cases, because they’re different men, one showed wit and sagacity, the other shows a sense of smug self-satisfaction and throws insults around.

    Obviously this is based on public personas, and reading into the way Mourinho approaches football, he may well be a perfectly adjusted fella.

  • I found it a really interesting piece for Untold to publish, and I’m really glad we got the chance to publish it.

    The one bit I personally disagree with is the statement, “winning is the most important function of a manager.”

    I don’t think that is right – and indeed if you asked supporters of the original Wimbledon club that won the FA Cup, or Portsmouth who also won the cup, whether that winning was more important than the club’s long term survival, I suspect the answer might be either “no” or a certain amount of hesitancy.

    I know the absolute joy of winning the cup as I have been lucky enough to be there in person, but being able to watch Arsenal in a luxurious stadium, and being able to see us near the very top all the time is important too.

    I wonder what Nottingham Forest supporters think of winning being the most important. They won lots under Clough – amazingly so – but he left no legacy and in the end took them down. Legacy is important too.

  • Tim Charlesworth

    Florian – you are absolutely right and I agree with you completely. Let’s not mince words, we were cheated on Saturday. The world can be unfair. Sometimes you get lucky (Palace hitting the post) and sometimes unlucky (we are surely due several years good luck after Saturday’s farce). The point is that Mourinho just made a joke about it. Any why not? As nicky says, he is under a lot of pressure, and he was very relieved. If we start to take his joke seriously we start down the road of paranoid imagination (this was all planned by Mourinho in advance etc.) Mourinho is good, but not that good. He wants to wind you up with his little jokes. He also wants to imply that the win on Saturday was all part of a grand genius plan (actually he just got very lucky). Whenever Mourinho gets lucky, he tries to claim credit for the good fortune. This creates some sort of mythical idea that he is a lot cleverer than he really is. Don’t take him seriously, because in so doing, you further his ends. When he winds you up, try not to rise to the bait (same advice for Gabriel).

  • WalterBroeckx

    I wonder if poaching in the eye of a Barcelona staff member was also just a case of being funny? That was the day I could never have any more sympathy for Mourinho.
    I think he is a vile man who hides behind his ‘jokes’.
    I think I will keep getting winded up by him 😉
    The good thing is that I always skip things when his name his mentioned apart from when Arsenal play Chelsea.

  • apo Armani

    Studs up and into the chest (Cahill), leg breaking tackles (Essien/Terry),eye gauging/slapping in the face (Costa/Drogba), diving (Hazard/Fabregas/Costa…shit almost all of them, time waisting to unprecedented levels, to the extent that even the medical team were made to feel guilty because the ‘special one’ instills DIRTY tactics!

    If this is what we should see as football…and find the manager who instructs his teams to carry out such antics and violent behavior as witty; I am afraid I won’t buy thanks!!

    The guy is a disgrace!!!

    Every team he has managed (be it on the grounds he can spend,spend and spend MORE), after a couple seasons has come to the whits end with the IDIOT – it will happen again!

  • allezkev

    A well thought out piece…
    A different and interesting point of view.
    Great work Tim…

  • Tim Charlesworth

    Tony – interesting point about Clough and Forest. One of my oldest friends is a Forest supporter. Despite growing up in N London, she was inspired by the Clough-era Forest teams (much to the disgust of her Arsenal father). Forest were a lower league club when Clough joined them. They are now a lower league club with their name on the European Cup (an honour which still awaits the world’s finest club), and a group of non-local supporters (like my friend) from the 1980s, that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’d say that Clough did leave a lasting legacy. I also agree with you, that being a manager is about more than just winning. However, I don’t think Mourinho sees it this way, and that is part of the reason for the genuine animosity between Mourinho and the greatest manager of his generation. As an aside – my friend claims that Arsenal wear red because in the early days of Arsenal (Dial Square?), the newly formed team was lent some kit by Forest (presumably in the ‘blackcurrant’ colour of the final Highbury year). As the master of all things Arsenal-history, can you confirm this story?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’m quite sure that Moanin’inho ‘s eye poking , eye rolling and his cheeky/ cynical pouting and other antics in Spain and Portugal must be a great source of entertainment there . Spanish and Portuguese mimes must be earning a very good living by mimicking all his gestures . And the adoring there public must be lapping it up . And how can you not include him in your regular ‘charades ‘ games ?
    In other countries , notably in Italy and England his hilarity has probably not yet caught on . But I’m sure that if someone watching two or more people gesturing and gesticulating and making offensive and vulgar signs , one would almost be certain that they were talking about Moanin’inho ! Unless , of course your country has a lame duck PM or President ! Hmmmmm !

  • Bobome

    Hello Tim,
    This is well written piece, no doubt about it. However, I completely disagree with your inference that Jose was being funny (delivering his jokes with a dead pan visage etc). What about body language which you rightly mentioned in the case of his handshake with M. Wenger? I cannot judge his intention but from the effect he has had and the results he achieved by the persistent cheating of his team on the field of play I do not agree with your thesis of a joke.

    The man wanted a result that completely favoured his team and he got it and you think his comments were a ‘joke’ in his “the man-of-the-match” remark about Costa; and all others in Goonersphere were wrong not to see it as such? Laugh if you want, I am not laughing because, taken together, all his interview answers do not come across as a joke. What do you make of his subsequent comments to the effect that Costa had played the way he needed to? Was that a joke also? As it seems to me, Dean had awarded him the match in a despicable manner and Jose was not being grateful to him nor ironic about it. As I see it, the team he (Dean) awarded the match has been moulded in the image of its coach just as Arsene has moulded the Arsenal FC team in his own image.

    You are right to see the two styles as very contrasting, the one would rather win fair and square and the other would rather win at all costs irrespective of how, (‘the-end-justify’s-the-means’ kind of approach) I would choose the coach who wants to win fair and square’s approach over the other one, every time. Let us therefore not reduce his post-match comments to a ‘joke’. They were not designed to entertain anyone and we are not laughing either. The Chelsea Football Club of London has played and won another match the way they know best how to, when will the FA and the PGMob get down to do their work the way they ought to also?

  • proudkev

    Mourinho is a classic cheque book Manager who uses every trick in the book to gain an advantage, fair or foul.

    Everyone talks about his Porto team. Ask Celtic fans what they think of Porto. Under Mourinho, they were hated for their play acting and time wasting. They were a team of divers and cry babies.

    After his success at Porto he went on to manage a number of the very top clubs. All clubs that wielded huge power and an unlimited budget. At the time of writing, no manager has had more to spend on players than Mourinho.

    Ramon Calderon, former Real Madrid president has claimed teh biggest mistake Real Madrid ever made was appointing Mourinho. He said he took Real Madrid into the gutter with his behaviour. He created a siege mentality and sent his players out to play tricks and kick players if necessary. The eye gauging incident was when the Spanish media finally had enough of him.

    He insults other managers. The specialist in failure jibe was actually disgisting.

    Move forward to the issue with Dr Eva. Here we have an employees whos responsibility is the care of the players. One of the players goes down injured. The referee asks the player if he needs attention, he says he does. On go the two medical staff to help the player. Yet Mourinho doesnt care one jot aboit the player, he is worried about him having to leave the field. This win at all costs mentality, so praised by some people, is disgraceful. He abuses the medical staff on their way back, alledgedly swears at them. For what? Doing their jobs.

    Mourinho is a nasty, vindictive man. He is Diego Costa in a suit. He has the morals of a sewer rat. Unfortunately, the dinosaurs in our game and the media seem to fornicate all over Mourinho.

    The media say Arsenal need nasty players like Costa. They say Arsenal should do what Chelsea do and surround referees. They say we should do what Chelsea do and be more cynical. We even have sections of Arsenal fans saying the same thing.

    Mourinho stands for everything that is bad in football. He is a cheat. He is nasty. He is morally corrupt. He abuses his own staff. He abuses other managers. Yet he is coveted and held up as an example of how all Managers should be.

    What is wrong with us in this Country?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Sorry dont agree(at least to digest this morning).This is too much appeasement, too much rational( the age of reason and logic also brought us the Holocaust and Uncle Joes 8 gram bullet in the night and was easily used by bigoted propagandists ,or deluded fools like Lord Halifax, to destroy peoples lives as much as all the great systems of thought it gave us),- this is a time not for taking the high ground and letting slip all the work thats been done on the petition, as predicted by Norman14.Its not just Dean in the dock, its Chelsea and José too and the game, and perhaps society in general.This is a chance to change things and the wind should not be taken out of the movement thats happening at the moment,for me its time the whole game is re-evaluated, and this could be a catalyst to do it.
    I think this perhaps could have been offered to Le Grove as an article they also admire Mourinho. Im sure theres plenty of AAAC who will like this today today too.
    To state that Josés wanted to wind up Arsenal and cheat is nonsense, is a tad naive in my book,telling Cahill to go in hard, big laughs that.
    Do you think José was joking when called Wenger a specialist in failure before that game? Ask yourself why he would do that?
    It would have been interesting to also have exposed José insecurities that all bullies have.I understand that by deconstructing things you can get to the bottom and dismantle your object of analysis and take away the emotive element and I understand your points, and tomorrow or another time I would be in your court, but I#’d rather see José the joking jester go do his stand up routine somewhere elsewhere at the moment or hauled in by the FA.The FA should be telling him to stop the baiting, in the way Ferguson and Wenger were told to stop the same.
    Methinks if Clough would have managed the present Chelsea side he might have had the same problem with them as he did in “managing” dirty Leeds.I also think Brian would have disliked Mourinho.
    I understand that you propose we deconstruct and to guide us to be cool, but for me nows not the time for me, but flux is a fickle thing and tomorrow is another day another thought.
    All apologies if you find it offensive or missing the point, normally I might be more inclined to side with you,certainly logic,reason and sport are strange bed fellows.
    But I do agree that José is a comedian( to be said in the dead pan manner).#aha
    For me the only good thing related to Chelsea these days is that Abramovich bought a load of work by the Kabakovs.

  • para

    At least someone sees what i see too.

    Mou is like a celeb who has a persona “on stage” and another at home like many public figures. Not to be taken that seriously.

    Still, i sense a little melt down going on inside him a.t.m. Maybe personal problems, who knows.

    I just hope AW is preparing for our next teams, Olympi,Leicester, Manu, Bayern
    as we need to get results from these games, and or team needs to be 100% focused. No excuses.

  • Rantetta

    Ah yes Tim, whilst it’s only then 2nd article of yours I’ve spotted, I see a PATTERN.


  • andy bishop

    I don’t hate other teams, managers or fans…I think hate wastes energy so I can see the funny side of Mourinho but never lose site of the dark side. This is a good article and you have stuck your neck out judging by some of the ill thought out,rude and insulting responses some provide on this site. The interview I saw was witty in parts but more condescending than anything else. It smacked of I am Mourinho, we play this way, this way gets results so I am right and you don’t understand. “What game do you play..badminton” said with humour. The reference to watching a rugby match and patting his heart suggests modern day football is physical and played with a passion so what is wrong with what Costa did? If you consider that to be a joke then Mourinho wins and swerves the issue. Luckily a journo was not letting him off with a “joke”. “Rugby has tighter rules about hassling the referee”..Do you think what Costa did was right?. He terminated the press conference after the first question and deflected the second around Paulista. Basically don’t blame me and my players for what happened it was the opponents and the referee. This attitude was backed up by what Zouma stated after the game. Mourinho gets away with it because of his sense of humour and he wins things which seems to be the be all for many.

    Dean at the bridge was a disgrace and should never referee an Arsenal game again. He needs a good hard look at his performance and a proper refresher course on modern day tactics employed by managers such as Mourinho. Wenger showed his class by referring to Dean as naive..I think it is more like bias..he definitely saw what Costa did.

    However Chelsea were gradually taking the game away from us. Mourinho knew we would go at them for the first fifteen to twenty minutes after that they started to turn the screw playing further up the park and doubling up on our players in possession and receiving the ball. We started to give the ball away under this pressure in our own half but were holding out ok. This is not enough for Mourinho..his players start niggling with little elbows, touches and scrapes after the ball has gone to irritate as well. Nothing the referee could call but with Dean on the pitch no Arsenal voice would be heard. We were holding out well and it was though someone had given Costa the nod to up the anti..the rest is history. This is what Mourinho jokingly calls passion..dont fall for it.

  • Dave Right

    I find little or no evidence of the conclusions you arrive at.

    “Some of the comments that he makes are really quite funny” No they are not.

    “So when Mourinho describes Costa as ‘man of the match’, instead of laughing at what is actually quite a good joke” You seem to think the context of this ‘joke’ irrelevant, I do not.

    “Mourinho is not only making a joke, but goes to the trouble to add on a comment of such stupidity that one can be left in no doubt that he is being ironic.” Or perhaps showing his contempt for the rest of us mere mortals.

    “Such a result would have threatened his job, his livelihood and a reputation he had spent nearly twenty years building up.” Don’t be ridiculous

    “What I think, cannot be denied, is that my favourite manager of all time, does not like Mourinho.”A conclusion I can agree with.

    Mourinho is a blight on football that I would happily do without.

  • bjtgooner


    This is not a well timed article.

    I am with Walter in this one, the Odious One is not funny, he is a totally vile character who has set up his teams for years to cheat, kick the daylights out of us, dive to advantage, feign injuries to get our players carded, etc.

    To produce this article now just when we have seen the worst if the Odious One’s team and have been robbed of 3 points is almost like a poor attempt to sanitise what we have just witnessed.

    Most people do not like to think badly about others and try very hard to always see good somewhere in a difficult person or even in an enemy – but to try and admire the non existant funny side of the slimy schemer that is the Odious One – is to stretch the sense of appreciation of others just too far.

    The attempt to admire a non existant positive trait in a serial cheat like the Odious One is a serious miscalculation – I thought only our disingenuous press licked the odious ass!

    Just remember, thugs like Costa are paid to do a job – they follow instruction – the Odious One is responsible for their behaviour on the field – he could easily stop the thuggery and concentrate on other things e.g. football – the fact that he does not tells us all we need to know about the Odious One – and it is not at all funny!!

  • uzoone

    Pls which team played better football in the game even at 11 vs 11. Common sense says Chelsea and Arsenal were defensive. Mourinho is actually evolving and his team is now playing better positive football where as Arsene Wenger is now going backward with negative football and tactics
    Pls Arsenal fans should be worried about that more.
    It means Jose is learning and improving while Mr Wenger either is standing still or lost ideas .

  • proudkev

    “I think this perhaps could have been offered to Le Grove as an article they also admire Mourinho. Im sure theres plenty of AAAC who will like this today”.

    Firstly, Mourinho is not funny. He is a nasty, vindictive man who was found out in SPain where they loathe him. As I emntioned above, Real Madrid are embarrassed about the way their club behaved when he was in charge.

    Your comment about LeGrove. Yes, it has a number of Chelsea fans on there masquerading as Gooners. Every now and then they let their guard down by referring to arsenal fans as ‘you’ and ‘your’ and celebrating wins. The problem is, most of the time they go unnoticed. Why? Because they blend in seamlessly. That says it all about some of our fans. You only have to look at the number of times the ‘specialist in failure’ jibe is used. How many vidoes are uploaded of Jose making that comment? One particular regular on there is so anti-Arsenal it defies logic. He is also one of the most abusive commenters you can find. Yet he writes articles for them and Peter Wood and the gang idolise him.

    I think LeGrove was initially intentioned to be a protest blog at Wenger. Unfortunatley, it has become aprotest blog about everything about the club; everyone has to take their turn to be abused not just Wenger – Gazidis, Kroenke, the scouts, the fitness team, the medical team, the players, the marketing team, the food providers, other fans, the FA Cup – I could go on. It seems there is nothing about this great club that does not get abused and run down.

    It has become an anti-arsenal blog, which the media troll for their next senstaionalist headlines. The fact Wood can be seen on Talksport and gets to write online articles for the Daily Mail, probably nails LeGrove for what it really is. It is a shame that such a great club has a small number of loud, abusive individuals who behave in a treachorous manner. I am just grateful they did not get their way and that neither Moyes, Lambert, Laudrupp, Rednapp, Deish or some other joker was installed as Manager. I see it’s Eddie Howe now. I like Eddie Howe but really?

    EH: “Hello, is that Barcelona? My name is Eddie Howe” Barca:”Any How?” EH: “No, Eddie Howe” Barca “Holy Cow?” (Holding hand over hand piece), “we have zis crazy person on ze line” EH: “No I am the Arsenal manager, I used to manage Bournemouth” Barca: “You managed Bore mouth? I am sorry we do not need a new restaurant manager, Bye”.

  • syd

    People will always have different humour likes and dislikes and there are people who actually think they are funny (some get paid for this) but I don’t get the idea that ‘the odious one’ is funny , disrespectful arrogant egotistical are a few words to describe him but ‘funny’ NO!
    I have actually met,while on holiday,years ago a couple who actually said they never found Tommy Cooper funny!!! Never spoke to them again because I could not engage in a conversation with people like that. So fair play to the author of this piece but me and you would probably ever be friends because your type of humour is not to my liking.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    PK- I was being ironic about José being a comedian.I also dont find him funny at all,hence the other comments I wrote in my post.Certainly LG is a bubbling sulphur pit of suffering and anger and hatred.Big laughs over there.
    Anyway time to turn our attention and support towards tonight and the Pullets.

  • Andy Mack

    A funny article that wasn’t actually funny…..

    Clough left a history at Forest but little legacy.
    MaureenO will leave history at Chavski but also a shameful legacy…

  • Pat

    I understand the tone of the article and it did give me a wry smile from time to time. But I thought YOU were joking when you said Mourinho was joking about Costa being the man of the match. I’m sure it was a serious attempt to play to the English tendency to admire the kick em brigade. The man has no principles except protecting his own career and getting his team to win – which he’s not doing too well at at the moment.

    Arsene Wenger has said his chief aim is to win football matches and I believe him. When he said that is why players should not respond to provocation on the pitch I believe him. It’s just that Arsene Wenger’s way is about playing great football, fair play, developing players young and old, unlike Mourinho’s way.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Jose may be all these things mentioned in this interesting article…and maybe more, but he also appears to be insecure, bordering on paranoid, driven, yes, but highly egotistical with it. A cocktail making him quite an unpleasant character. He may well possess wit, and intelligence, but uses it too frequently to put down others.
    There are few things he, and some of his players will not stoop to in the aim of winning a game, this and the clear financial advantage they enjoy will account for Wengers poor record against him.
    But my main gripe is not really against Jose, unpleasant as he is. It is against our spineless media, FA and PGMOL, that not only let Jose and his team away with all manner of issues that run against the spirit of the game, they deny others a level playing field in doing so, as we saw last Saturday.
    Jose is not the devil incarnate, and Costa is not Jack The Ripper…despite the marks on Gabs neck, but both should have been reined in long before now.
    But in the long term, both may have done us a favour, the whole world now knows what Mike Dean is. What his true motives/drivers/rewards may be are still open to question, but his bias is there for all to see. His officials dont come out too well either. They exposed to the watching billions what Untold has been saying for a while… there is something wrong with this league.

  • finsbury

    This is a very poor article.

    The contention that the AFC manager doesn’t have a sense of humour doesn’t exactly match up to the Romford pele’s after dinner speeches, does it? That’s because what was written above is simply gibberish. Luckily no paper was wasted in the printing.

    I can think of hundreds of millions of reasons why the special agent would find the specialist in signing players from special gents to be funny.
    Who didn’t laugh when Gazprom spent 30M on Willian whilst ignoring Diego Costa (the Costa who can play football- he’s now doing quite well at Munchen and will be a threat when AFC play them, a goal making threat unlike the ‘forward’ Willian.

    I don’t think many football fans find this charlatan funny.

    You see Tim, some professional comedians have found JM to be funny, but not in the way you imply. They’ve used him as source material. For satire. HTH.

    Harry Enfield. The Tottenham fan, Steve Coogan. These are funny people.

  • Paul the gooner

    Please remember he was the one who accused the Reading ambulance service of taking 30 minutes to arrive and treat Czech when he got injured.They were already at the Stadium.Accused Frisk the ref of allowing the Barcelona Managerinto his room at halftime.He retired soon after.
    IN Graham Polls book, in the first chapter, he describes how he sent the Chelsea players out to intimidate him.In his words”it was one of the worst experiences as a ref”.We all know the other one.
    Please remember this person does nothing of the cuff.It is all thought out before.He is a very intelligent,nasty person.

  • finsbury

    Correction above:

    Douglas Costa who is at Munich, not the Gazprom player!

  • finsbury

    Crespo once said that behind closed doors that JM was very nice.

    He was saying that because the public perception of him in many many different countries is the opposite. If in doubt the radio broadcast o the opinions of the Everton manager and the Liverpudlian reporter last week are easily available to listen to.

    Now, those comments by those two were funny. As well as JM’s impersonation of a three year old toddler.

    I’m not going to argue with Crespo who played with JM, why would I? Neither would I ignore many of the Romford Pele’s famous tales from the dressing room.

    That would be: odd.

  • DB10

    This is actually a good line: “Can we be surprised that ex-pros in a sport that encourages people to leave school at sixteen don’t make very insightful journalists?”

    With the rest I can’t and probably will never agree. JM is pathetic little man, who can only be ‘funny’ when results go his way. Have a look how he behaves when he loses.
    And Costa is a perfect match for his manager.

  • Menace

    Tim – looking for the good in someone who is bad is very christian. I think looking for good in someone who is evil is a waste of ‘goodness’. Clough was a truly great character, Jose is a leech. He sucks the blood of anything that lives. He convinces the stupid easily but does not take in the intelligent.

    Your article is argumentative & wrong on many counts but still a read.

    There are many here who have a more correct interpretation of Jose & his comments. His handshake was insincere & I would have not batted an eyelid if Wenger ignored him. In fact I would have smiled. The morals that Wenger has instilled by his own behaviour is truly class.

    The FA & PGMO are beyond contempt. How the officials did not see the incidents in the middle of the field is not surprising. The BBC MOTD commentator also ‘did not see’ the incident when clearly looking at it!!!! We have to tolerate the cheating that all of these ‘people’ continue to deliver. It is not bias nor is it error. It is cheating & corruption in bucketfuls. Yes, I am accusing the FA, the PGMO and the media of colluding together to cheat Arsenal & others to ensure their choice wins.

  • proudkev

    If you have ever wondered why the English National team is such an embarrassment on the world stage, just listen to our former pros.

    Gary Neville has gone on a rant to say that Diego Costa was not guilty of violent behaviour. Yes, this is the same Gary Neville that is part of the England setup. The same Gary Neville that has been part of a pitiful England National team. The same Gary Neville who was part of what I describe as one of the most despicable Man Utd perfromances, the 50th game. The same Gary Neville, who along with his brother got away with late tackle after late tackle. He is a dinosaur.

    On MOTD, we have Danny Murphy arguing with Alan Shearer over Costas actions, claiming it was no more than a yellow card. We have our own Martin Keown calling Arsenal naive. Both Keown and Shearer advocating that Arsenal players should be surrounding referees to get decisions. Yes, on MOTD these old fossils were saying we should be surrounding referees. Incredible.

    We have almost all of the media outlets repeating this narrative. Arsenal are being beaten up for being nice, for being honourable, for trying to play football the right way, for being respectful, for being beaten up.

    Arsenal are criticised for all the things that I admire. Not just in sport but at a human level. Respect. Respect, the cornerstone of life. There is a saying that if you cannot respect other people respect yourself – as true today as it ever was.

    The real irony is that when we did surround referees and have a tendency to fight fire with fire, the media relentlessly advertised the number of red cards we had. A countdown clock of offences to prove we were nasty and should be abused. They accused us of all manner of crimes.

    Arsenal cannot win then and we cannot win now.

    And while that mentality persists, neither will England. The ignorant dinosaurs and all round ‘thickos’ will see to that.

  • Rantetta

    Here’s a cartoon. You can choose whether you see it as funny, ironic, useless, or whatever:

  • proudkev

    This a great article written by Martin Samuel. The only journalist I have seen that has labelled Costa what he is and defended Arsenal. Well done sir. You are clearly writing for the wrong Newspaper.

  • Rich

    Oh boy! Gonna have to get me po-face on for this.

    Good a place as any to start is to ask is it clever to cheat.

    The answer, if you completely remove morality, is, what are the rewards, and what are the probabilities of being caught and punished. You have to assess the basic framework of whatever environment you operate in, then assess all the actors within it and their behaviour as it is or is likely to be, instead of how it supposedly is or is meant to be. Hence, Mourinho is, if you like, a clever operator.

    It’s clever if you know,say, the interviewer is a spineless weasel, the guys back at the studio are stupid or dishonest, ditto the laptop brigade, especially the laptop brigade. It would be incredibly stupid if even a fair minority of those others were not those things.

    The main architects of the worldwide financial collapse were, by the same standards, clever, or they were to whatever extent they correctly judged the likelihood of personal punishment if the very lucrative thing collapsed, as, towards the end at least, they knew it would. Their actual cleverness, the really powerful ones, surely rests upon whether they knew the rescue would arrive. Now they’re at it again; is it cleverness…we’ll see; but anyway, that’s another story. The main thing is, with morality gone, that is the world for those with an opportunity to do something significant in it.

    Our modern Raskolnikov’s- only they don’t plan on doing good once they’ve stuck the axe in the bad old woman and gotten away with it. (Or maybe they do a bit of charity stuff on the side, but again that could just as easily be good old calculating behaviour again. Maybe they’re nice as pie to their ma’s or those who help them- who gives a fuck, apart from their ma’s and the helpful ones?)

    Back to Mourinho. He can be called clever in so far as he knows his environment, his practical audience,etc. So what we have is the spectacle of this man being brazenly, stupidly hypocritical every last week, near enough. Each big thing he says directly contradicts some other thing he has said- about ‘crying’, about talking or not talking about other clubs and referees, about spending money or not spending money, accepting decisions or not accepting them- perhaps only last week.

    His behaviour is stupid and ridiculous in so far as all the hypocrisy and contradictions are so easily verifiable- it’s all in the public domain for any old chump to observe and understand- but it is clever, or certainly not stupid, in terms of the consequences for him. He has won a lot, become very rich, and is supported by many people.

    Is any of it funny? It depends. I guess much of it relies on whether you find moralistic people inherently foolish and absurd. The silly critters, they guarantee themselves endless disappointment and upset, and they limit themselves tremendously. While they can only think about taking action within the parameters of right and wrong, their opposites have a much wider field to operate in, and only need focus on the goal and how to reach it, while taking into account the world of appearances and what they need to do, or can get away with there. Very much asymmetric warfare.

    Could you, as a person who cares a lot about morality, work all that through, especially the bit about it so clearly being reliant on a hideously awful media, and say ‘ha. Good one.’?

    Not me, and I don’t think I’m even averse to bleak nihilistic humour. I just don’t think that black-hearted little turd has much of a gift for comedy. Malevolence,yes, humour no.

    [From Neil Warnock’s biography]

    “At the Emirates the technical areas are a long way apart. When I went there […] for my thousandth game as a manager I stood with Arsene Wenger in the centre-circle and turned towards them. I said,’ Look at the dug outs ,Arsene, they are miles apart, you’ll never hear me.’

    He pondered, looked down at me from his great height, smiled wryly and said, ‘You will find a way.’”

    Now that’s a funny guy.

  • Bobome

    I totally agree with your conclusion on Martin Samuel’s article. The suggestions from a majority of the English press that Arsenal would do well if it resorted to the same negative tactics reminds me of the quotation from an Israeli politician (I think) who said “… an eye for an eye would leave everybody blind…”. AFC should not deviate from the honourable path they tread for a mess of pottage. When victory comes it will come very sweet and most welcome and not the sort of victory that is hollow and leave’s you feeling ‘…is that all…?

  • proudkev


    It is the first article I have read for a while that I thought summed it up prefectly. Martin Samuel nailed it pretty much.

    I do not want Arsenal to go down the road Chelsea have. The list of bad behviour from that club since the Russian bought them from Bates is never ending and epitmoises what I hate most about money – the corruption it creates.

  • para

    Another thing we all seem to forget, is how the world is. Up to this time, the world we know today has been formed by those types of people who think that the aggressive cheating and stealing way is the way to do things.

    Look how the whole Western society has raped and pillaged others for their own interests, and think this is the way to go, a la “strongest survive” etc, instead of trying to come to some arrangement or proper trade with others. This mentality still prevails in the world.

    This is why i like Arsenal and AW because of their apparent difference of philosophy, although i am fully aware that nothing is really ever exactly as it seems, it is this type of philosophy that will enable us to change the world to be a fairer and better place one day.

  • Clockendrider

    Let the revisionism begin…….
    Oh how we laughed when Mourinho poked Vilanova in the eye then ran away to hide behind teachers skirts.
    What a card……..

    Sorry but this kind of rubbish belongs in the Daily Mail.

  • Zedsaunt

    Clough was a smartarse, alcoholic, bully, and a brilliant centre-forward who had to cut short his career after injury.

    He wasn’t in the habit of employing a serial psychotic to brutalise opposing teams and get opposing players sent off. Nor did he bar doctors from the pitch after the ref had first waved them on.

    As a joke Mourinho nominating Costa as man of the match is crap because Mourinho can only nominate Costa because Dean played a blinder.

    Funnily enough it was in Stamford Bridge back in ’69 that I first saw a Clough/Taylor team – Derby County. Beautiful football. Watching them was like reading Clough’s mind.

    As for Saturday – a guy standing near me in the Portsmouth harbour front pub declared at the end, ”Costa is dangerous for football.” He is right.

    The PGMOL has to go. The FA has to go. An independent authority has to take over the administration of football, its machinations fully transparent, membership elected and held accountable.

    Above all, the football fan has to be treated with the same respect that is given to tennis fans, cricket fans, rugby fans. What comes down from FIFA through every rung downwards to Dean last Saturday is the utter contempt for the people watching the game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    This is what Koscielny should have done when Costa moved in . Even Mike Dean would have been fooled !

  • Menace

    sorry proudkev. the article still glorifies the dirt that is destroying football in a snide manner.

  • apo Armani

    Talk about cheating and what para says about the world today…another name comes to mind; Volkswagen!!!

    How many giants with money in the bank – feel the need to CHEAT to get forward!!

    The mind boggles!!

  • Josif

    Whilst I don’t agree with the harsh comments about the article, I disagree with a view of Mourinho being a funny man.

    He is a dramma-queen (remember his famous: “Por que?”-whine about Barcelona?), a rather poor actor who has been in a symbiotic relationship with the English media (as they mostly lack class like he does but he gives them headlines and they give him space to spit his poison). His players are allowed to do everything in order to win the game.

    The thing is, he is also a man with a lot of complexes. Unlike Arsene, Mourinho will never advance from being a bus driver among the greatest managers. His results are spectacular but…can you recall of the goals his teams have scored like you can recall, say, Bergkamp’s, Henry’s or Wilshere’s? Me neither.

    Given that his artistic potential is limited (remember, Hitler was destroyed after he had failed as an artist), he uses his mind-games cleverly in the same way a little thief uses his tricks. That’s where the article had a point – for some reason, Arsene doesn’t answer him in appropriate manner. I would either completely ignore him or name his failures and the fact he is a cheque-book manager.

    My point is, he hates being known only for his bus-driving skills. He wants to be more than just a qualified worker. And, what he hates the most is this: If you want to build the roof of Sistine Chapel, you call Mourinho but if you want to paint it inside, you call Wenger. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    I must say that this article from Tim does has a big merit. To show a possible other side of Mourinho. A side I don’t want to really know to be honest (and that is maybe my mistake) but I don’t think I could have a good conversation with Mourinho. But well that could be the same if he would know me and my writings 🙂

  • proudkev

    Put simply.

    Comparing Mourinho to Wenger is like comparing a bottle of Coke to a fine wine.

    If Wenger had the money Mourinho had spent, I have no doubt he would have had more success than Mourinho. If Mourinho had been working for Arsenal under our restrictions, forced to develop players and sell his best, while other clubs sepnt billions I can guarantee you one thing: He would have pissed off. He is not a man of patience, he cannot develop players. He is a cheque book manager with a win at all cost manner.

    It irritates me that Mourinho gets put on a pedestal while Wenger gets continually knocked down. Wenger is ten Mourinhos and I suspect Mourinho knows it because h displays all teh characterists of envy.

  • nicky

    Your 10am was a dissection masterpiece in the English language, of someone who would be a disgrace any sport.
    I only wish I’d said it first.

  • arse_or_brain

    to mention maureen and the great Brian Clough in the same breath is disgraceful enough. maureen would never be able to do what BC acheived.
    The other assumption that it is very unlikely the ref was bribed is also wrong.If you consider in all big business there are large amounts of corruption,to assume football is different is naive. If you then consider the weird stats then logic must make you see that the possibility is very much there.

  • Pat

    Arsene Wenger has just said, ‘When we have eleven players we can win games.’ Absolutely!

  • OlegYch

    spot on, mate, except one thing – mou has no chance at winding up wenger (despite what the media might suggest), and wenger has a sense of humour, just not as witty