Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is Jose losing the plot?

When football supporters think about the El Classico many envision football being played at its highest level. Wonderful passing, excellent tactics, and intense play. Last season the age long Barcelona v Real Madrid derby had a new dimension added to it with the appointment of the "special one" José Mourinho as Madrid manager. His tactical ability having beaten Barca in the previous year's Champions League semi final on the way to the trophy, was the key selling point on Madrid's decision to hire him. His goals were clear, Win the Champions League, and just as important if not more, beat Barcelona. 7 games later and the plans is now going so well.

What was Jose thinking?...And who is that freaky dude in the backgroud?

His actions over these past 7 games has been puzzling at times and down right crazy at others. From not speaking to the media, to berating refs, to calling Barca's victories over his team a part of a conspiracy involving, UEFA, the Spanish football federation and even UNICEF....yes that UNICEF. It's become clear Mr. Mourinho does not handling losing very well. However the scene at the Camp Nou last Tuesday of Jose eye gouging Barcelona assistant coach Tito Villanova was a step too far even for a manager of his stature.  I'm not going to pretend to know what exactly happened to make Mourinho want to pop his thumb in another man's eye, but regardless of the "series of provocations and insults from the Barca bench" as Madrid's higher ups are calling it, he must do better.

I don't truly believe he's cracking up under the pressure of managing the Real Madrid, but I do believe he has a serious problem handling defeat. And not just a 1-0 shock loss kind of defeat, but the kind in which his tactics are well beaten by another manager.

Today he released an open letter on the Madrid site apologizing to Los Blancos fans, but funny enough not to the guy who's eye he thumbed. In fact he went on to mention the  "hypocrisy in football" and those who "hide their faces and speak in whispers deep inside tunnels". Your guess is as good as mine in regards to what whispers and tunnels he speaks of or which hypocrisy is out there to get him and the club this time. Yes, he faces a 12 match ban... but he poke a man in the eye...Jose that's not hypocrisy, that's punishment that fits your crime. 

He may not be losing it, but he's on the verge of damaging a reputation as a solid manager and a master tactician. Keeping these two components in tact will be key if he wishes to return to England as he has mentioned in the past.


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