Jose Mourinho: On Edge Of Explosion

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Jose Mourinho: On Edge Of Explosion

There’s usually conflict with Jose Mourinho. He seems to thrive on it, to feed from the hate like some sort of rage camel, filling up his hump with a delicious slug of ire and recrimination before he wanders off towards the next argument.
Mourinho has generally managed to split his arguments between the internal and the external, picking fights with other managers (Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti, Manuel Pellegrini…well, pretty much everyone really), as well as causing tension within his own club. He managed to get himself sacked in his first spell at Stamford Bridge after falling out with Roman Abramovich, alienated basically everyone at Real Madrid and managed to p*** off an entire nation while at Inter, complaining that he did not like Serie A and wanted to return to England.
Since his return to Chelsea though, it’s been peaches and cream. Mourinho has of course tried to antagonise or bully any opposition player or manager he thought worth antagonising or bullying, but all seems to have been quiet on the home front. “I stay here as long as Mr Abramovich wants me,” Mourinho said in May. “The day he tells me to go, I go. Remember, he is the man who won every title at Chelsea. If he has all the replicas, he needs a big house.”
Yes sir, no sir, would you like me to shine your trophies for you sir. “He’s very happy – I saw him hugging the players in the dressing-room after the game,” he said in April. “I think he’s happy and I think every Chelsea fan is happy if we win the title.” Stability is not something one associates with Mourinho or indeed Chelsea, but stability is what seems to have ruled for the last two years.
That could be about to change, though. The sale of Petr Cech to Arsenal, which seems to be all wrapped up, by common consensus is a ridiculous thing for Chelsea to do. Perhaps John Terry was being a little generous with his assessment that Cech will be worth 12-15 points to Arsenal, but the arrival of the big keeper has not only solved their immediate problem between the sticks – a traditional blind spot for Wenger – but has also provided the talented but wayward Wojciech Szczesny with the closest thing he’s had to a mentor, an authorititive older goalkeeper from whom he can learn. You’d hesitate before saying this turns Arsenal into genuine, guaranteed title contenders, because after all, this is still Arsenal, and Arsenal will Arsenal, but it certainly gives them a significant boost.
In short, weakening your own squad and strengthening a theoretical rival is exactly the sort of thing that Mourinho would never do. Indeed, the word on the street is that this has nothing to do with Mourinho, that it is something of a sentimental move, a recognition by the Chelsea hierarchy that Cech has served them superbly for 11 years, and should be allowed to go where he wants. As a sort of ‘thank you’, as if the large amounts of cash and professional satisfaction weren’t enough of a hat-tip.
Stories have already started to emerge in the papers that Mourinho is rather vexed by the whole affair, preferring to sell Cech to someone not of such immediate threat, like PSG, or Inter, or Liverpool. And you can be pretty sure that, as soon as microphones are put in front of him, Mourinho will make assorted arch comments about not being in complete control of the transfers at Chelsea, you’ll have to ask the owner why we sold Cech to Arsenal etc and so on and so forth. Animosity is never far away with Mourinho, and it’s already bubbling under the surface.
He seems to be set on creating problems himself, too. The imminent signing of Radamel Falcao would be regarded as utter lunacy if it was made by 19 managers in the Premier League, but because it’s Mourinho everyone pauses a little before they pass judgment, his record making most think they’ve missed something. They must have done, right? Because it’s Mourinho, right? It’s like some sort of Jedi mind trick, or a version of Richard Nixon’s old quote that “if the president orders it, that makes it legal”; if Mourinho does it, it must make sense, right?
Indeed, there might still be a functioning striker in the husk that used to be Falcao somewhere, given that you could quite easily put his struggles last season down to a season disrupted by injury, and indeed rushing back from the serious knee problem that kept him out of the World Cup. But it still feels like Mourinho is creating an issue for himself, an echo of when he was presented with an unwanted Andriy Shevchenko during his first spell, only with this one being of his own doing. Falcao might turn out to be an effective forward for Chelsea, or at least a decent back-up to Diego Costa, but you wouldn’t bet too much on it.
It’s as if Mourinho doesn’t trust the calmness, like a man used to living in the city doesn’t trust the silence of the countryside, longing for the hum of traffic or the sound of a fight outside a pub. He’s picking away at the seal on the jar of wasps, just to see what happens.
It’s all been fairly calm, quiet, uneventful and harmonious during Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea, but there’s something afoot in the wind. Don’t be surprised if it all changes pretty soon.
Nick Miller

More Related Articles

Comments