I was never fooled for once that Jose Mourinho actually believed Arsene Wenger is a specialist in failure. The self-acclaimed Special One is a master of mind games and is a specialist in going over the top to destabilise his opponents.
Wenger’s response too was apt, and Jose then did not favour a further uncouth response from the “Okro-mouthed One” having seen his team easily dumped out of the FA cup by Manchester City last weekend.
However, when I saw a reply of an Arsenal fan, Moh, on YouTube , I was tempted to share it online. Moh was of the opinion that Jose should get his facts straight before attacking other managers.
By Mourinho’s logic, going eight years without a trophy makes Wenger a specialist in failure. Moh extended the logic to cover David Calderhead and Billy Birrell, both former Chelsea managers who went 26 and 13 years respectively without winning any trophy for the club. He said if Arsene Wenger is a specialist in failure, these two Chelsea greats would be godparents of failure. He also pointed out Chelsea’s long trophy drought.
“Get your facts right!” Moh literally put it to Jose, telling him always to look at his club’s history before attacking. Club history? As if Mourinho cared!
I captioned my post, “If you are a Mourinho fan please do not watch.” However they didn’t listen and one of them replied “getting points straight… it’s a comparison between Wenger and Mou and not Wenger and Chelsea…”
There and then, I felt a need to educate football fans on where their allegiance should rest, especially the Chelsea fans on why they need to be careful with Mourinho. No doubt, only a club like Chelsea could stand the ego of the Special One probably because he seemed more successful than the club had been in the past.
It is not unusual to hear Chelsea fans flaunting the achievements of Jose Mourinho as if it completely translates to success for the club. They appropriate Mourinho’s achievements as theirs. In truth, some of his achievements were for the club, or at least that is what Chelsea fans believe but to a keen observer it is quite apparent that Mourinho works for himself and not for any club.
Great managers build legacies for their clubs. Sir Alex Ferguson took United beyond the shadows of Liverpool, Wenger transformed Arsenal’s style of play and managed the squad prudently to allow for the construction of a new stadium. When Sir Alex Ferguson won trophies, it was Glory Glory Man United! But in Jose’s case it had to be about him. After his Champion’s League success, he declared, “I’m European champion and I think I am a special one.” No other person had ever said anything like that in football history; no one ever took sole credit for winning a trophy, not even any of the players that sweated on the pitch.
Honestly, Jose Mourinho is special. How could he not be, with the facts staring at us? Seven domestic League titles in just 10 years of management, two UEFA Champions League titles and one UEFA Cup are facts that speak for themselves. I will refrain from comparing Wenger and Mourinho based on achievements (that is of course assuming trophies alone constitute an achievement as opposed to managing to build a gold-standard stadium for instance or going a season unbeaten) because the winner is obvious. However, when a football club’s major achievement is “Mourinho coached us twice” that speaks volumes about the class of the club or lack of it.
Big clubs like Madrid and Inter used Mourinho because of his obvious talents and would never allow him to undermine the club’s reputation to satisfy his ego. Real Madrid had underperformed before Mourinho’s arrival, plus they needed someone to tame the growing influence and invincibility of Barcelona. Mourinho was their man. He delivered at Real Madrid, just as he delivered the coveted Champions league trophy for Inter Milan. That was it, Real Madrid turned him into “the sacked one,” they could not allow him to turn himself into the club.
I believe I am doing Chelsea fans a huge service by pointing out that while other managers build legacies for their clubs, Jose Mourinho builds his own reputation and ego. In Mourinho’s case, the focus has to be on him. The night Inter Milan won the champions league for the first time in their history, Mourinho successfully made the story about his imminent departure to Real Madrid. After celebrating , he stalked the inter end a lone figure, waving deadpanned towards the Nerazzuri faithful. The way he removed his medal and refused to celebrate with the team also made him a centre of attraction when Porto won the same trophy years earlier.
I leave the diagnosis of his bloated ego to the psychologists or psychiatrists as the case may be, whether it had anything to do with his failings as a professional footballer.
The point I am trying to make is that Chelsea FC has been too much of a ready agent for Mourinho to feed his ego and his rabid drive for relevance. By the time he left Chelsea in 2007 “by mutual consent”, he was the most successful manager in the club’s history having won 6 trophies for the club in 3 years but by that time it was too late, the parasite had found its home. Surprisingly, without him Chelsea felt like nothing, like underachievers and that is despite winning the League, FA cups, UEFA Europa cup and Champions League without him, they still felt a need to bring him back. They had to appropriate his success to theirs. Without him, Chelsea was not fulfilled. After him, they used seven different managers in six years.
The relationship between the pair has become anomalous. It is not as if Jose had any love for Chelsea initially. Before joining the club in 2003, he talked up the possibility of joining Liverpool, “Liverpool are a team that interests everyone and Chelsea does not interest me so much because it is a new project…”
Perhaps Chelsea’s desperation for success after decades of “failure” was the reason for bringing in Mourinho especially when the sugar daddy could afford it. However, they have taken it too far. He is now the trophy they want. Mourinho is a great manager who will go down history as one of the best but Chelsea will be in his shadows. There is a reason the big clubs discarded him and why he only feels most comfortable at Stamford bridge. He is like a brilliant student who will go to a poor school so that he can always take first position.
The way these lovebirds are going, in few decades time, when history is being assessed, we shall hear more about the Special One but nothing about the club.
‘Kunle Sobode is a football enthusiast. He wrote in from Nigeria.
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