Skip to main content

My name is Jose Mourinho, and I'm not Special (at the moment)


.....The words that Jose Mourinho needs to utter to himself, the reality he has to face in order to change himself and the fortunes of his team. Such a recalibration of self-image won't be easy for a man who frequently embroiders his press conferences with 'I' and 'My' and references to his past achievements. He is a winner, not a loser and as such won't take easily to his new role, one that has to feature a cold-eyed acceptance that his magic, such as it is, has been diluted. 

Mourinho is an egomaniac - not unlike many successful people - but he has an edge of narcissism that makes it difficult for him to see the success of his teams through any prism but his own greatness. When his club wins, "I" win. So when things are not as they should be, Jose takes it personally, as an affront to him, an insult, he is embarrassed. He'll take it out on players, make grand gestures by dropping his best, and he'll search for outside influences - excuses - for his difficulties. He spent much of last season blaming the fans, too. I have never really bought into this idea that Jose is playing mind games with his antics, protecting his players and taking pressure off them. I just think he means all of it: the persecution complex, the battles with the media. 

I don't know what Jose says to the players on a daily basis and whether he is encouraging, critical, dismissive, helpful. As a Chelsea fan, it has been difficult to watch the catastrophic decline of a team who won the Premiership relatively easily just a few months ago, but it has been more bewildering to watch the public disintegration of Mourinho as he throws punches in his defence against real or imagined foes. The old theory that his methods diminish rapidly after two or three seasons is an easy one to fall back on but is nevertheless hard to dismiss entirely. My own impression is that his team have seen him crumble a little and that glimpse of weakness, tinged as it undoubtedly will be with vituperative recrimination internally, is not attracting sympathy from his players, or a sense that they want to help him. Chelsea fans have been quick to point out in recent matches that the team appear to be playing for Mourinho, but are not getting the breaks; I think they are playing for themselves, pulling together as best they can for their own sakes, yet endeavour alone is about as useful as a chocolate teapot right now.

Which suggests that if Mourinho is to revive his aura, he will either need a new set of players upon whom he can work his magic, or a new club. Unless, that is, he admits to himself that whatever it was that worked for him as he breezed triumphantly into various cities, hoovering up medals and then departing, will need tweaking if he is to build longer lasting dynasties. Part of that process is to admit he has got some things wrong, that despite some justifiable grievances with the FA and referees, nobody else is going to do it for him; there is no power above who will deliver justice. Jose Mourinho is down among the also-rans and past glories don't change that reality, which means humility, creativity, bravery to change things and, above all, acquiescence to the uncomfortable concept that his players are actually people he needs, rather than the other way around. 

Chelsea fans, who are among the quickest to want a manager dismissed and who can usually find any number of reasons why an unpopular manager is failing are supporting Mourinho, convinced, as the man himself is, that the problems don't begin with him, but are in fact the failures of the players. When Avram Grant took Chelsea to the Champions League final, it was all down to the efforts of the players, when AVB struggled, it was because he was incompetent; football fans can have it as many ways as it suits them. Mourinho's history at Chelsea buys him grace, but it may be fruitless because whilst it remains true that the club has little option right now, and must hope Jose can effect a reversal of fortunes, I just don't think he looks capable of it. We all hope that I am wrong, and, unlike Jose hitherto, I will be happy to admit it.

Comments

  1. Very good article. Personality I'm convinced that Jose's arrogance is the problem and the reason why he tends to have only short term success at clubs. It's funny how all the insults heaped at his fellow managers over the years are all coming back to haunt him. Who's the specialist in failure now? Sorry but he has to go, there's no other way. I know fans in England adore him, but Chelsea is a global brand now, and the image of the club has been in the gutter all season.

    It's one thing to have poor results but the PR is toxic right now, and most of this is due to manager's antics all season. When you're the 2nd highest paid manager in the world and you take an incredibly talented squad close to relegation, then it's time to resign.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brilliant read Mike. Mourinho has to go in my view. He hasn't delivered on any of the promises he made since he was appointed in June 2013 and I haven't seen any real progression from us as a side despite winning the league at a canter last season (which IMO was more down to the poor quality of the league itself than us).

    Keeping Mourinho is an option but you'd have to essentially overhaul the entire squad and spend circa £300m then repeat the process again in 2/3 years when the next crop of players have grown bored of his short-term methods and off-the-field antics.

    The damage as a whole Mourinho has done to the club is irreparable and I think we should just cut our losses and start over. The whole club is a circus at the minute and we've now become the biggest laughing stock not just in England, but in world football and arguably all of sport.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alot of the spending would come from player sales

    ReplyDelete
  4. Spiffing article Perillers, now I'm off to the jolly old opera, what ho, what ho.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Audiences will decide the future of opera

I have news: the audience will decide the future of opera.
When our season at Opera Holland Park comes to an end, I pore over spreadsheets trying to find reasons why our audience have behaved in the way that they have, and the most concentrated analysis tends to come after seasons during which our house has been full. The theory is this; if we have underperformed, we are programmed to find solutions, but if we have performed well, we are less likely to look for the gremlins that might lose us that ever-capricious audience in a trice – you are never more vulnerable than when you are successful.  Sometimes, though, one can miss the obvious, or perhaps ignore it.
In nearly three decades in opera, I have experienced one "boom" in the art form but an almost perpetual "crisis" of confidence, an alarmed perma-reflection on whether we remain relevant as an art form. This introspective brew is spiced by the occasional real crisis, like that recently at ENO, but we never reall…

XTC -This is Pop (Documentary, Sky 1)

The long awaited - and even longer overdue - documentary about the British band XTC felt to many of us who have considered them the best ever group to emerge from these shores, like a simultaneous roar of approval and a shocking great slap in the face, a sharp reminder of what we have lost now that they no longer record together. Apple Venus Vol.1 and Wasp Star (Apple Venus Vol. 2) were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively and together represented the almost perfect distillation of British popular music. I hesitate to just call it "pop" although there are almost unequalled examples of it on both these albums and right through the XTC canon. Andy Partridge's lavishly inventive songwriting, lyrical brilliance and at times almost extra-terrestrial knack for a breathtaking melody or crushingly beautiful harmony seemed to improve and grow throughout the band's 14 album career. It came to a mighty zenith on those final two records. 
Followers of XTC were often torn betwee…

Panic! Culture and the working class

A new report on the working class relationship with culture has been doing the rounds recently.
Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries (which you can find here (http://createlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Panic-Social-Class-Taste-and-Inequalities-in-the-Creative-Industries1.pdf) comes at the issue from the point of view of the working class and their opportunities to find careers in the cultural sector. I usually concern myself most with the audience aspects of this debate but this report does touch on matters that relate to that, too. The general issue was also recently making waves with respect to entrants into Oxbridge and with Owen Jones's huge Twitter spat about the class of those in the media. 
The Panic! report takes data from various sources and draws conclusions from it. Some of the conclusions are based on what appear to me to be oddly skewed impressions and some of the report sounds like an argument looking for a validation, rather t…