El Centrocampista

THE ULTIMATE OBSESSION – Where will it take Jose Mourinho?

By Jamie Halden

Having proven his crentials as a coach in Portugal, England, and the notoriously fickle surroundings of Serie A, it would appear that life in Spain has thrown up a whole new challenge for Jose Mourinho.

Despite receiving full backing from his president, Florentino Perez, who has taken the almost unprecedented step of handing his coach total control over the team, the self-styled ‘Special One’ still has a major problem he just cannot seem to shake off.

An obsession with FC Barcelona that seems to be getting more malicious and seemingly uncontrolled by the weeks.

The question many are now asking of Jose is, has chasing this great Barcelona team taken its toll on his previously unquestioned state of mind?

The most identifiable phrase in world football is the club motto of Barcelona, ”Mes Que Un Club”, the questions being asked of Jose Mourinho so early on in his tenure is has he become bigger than Real Madrid football club?

He decides the transfers, he decides what players say, he decides who plays and who sits on in the bench and in many ways he tells those left out to sit out and ‘like it’.

Will the chase to topple Barcelona prove too much for Mourinho?

Gonzalo and Kaka are two of the biggest stars who have fell victim to Mourinho’s ill favour so far in his spell at Real, the two of them sit there and smile but neither has really done anything wrong in particular they just do not hold a part in Jose’s plans.

He decides which press conference’s he attends, he decides what length of grass the pitch at the Bernabeu grows, he decides every detail at Real Madrid which is a first in itself for a manager to hold so much totalitarian power.

Perez has allowed him this control because Mourinho showed him, most notably at the Nou Camp in the 5-0 drubbing, that the old way of running the club was simply not working.

This season he has no excuses and he knows it, he has gone against the history of Real Madrid and has gathered untold power over the football club.

The question is, has that power and obsession with Barcelona led to an unsavoury feeling around Jose that will ultimately cost him some portion of his sanity, if not his job?

He has always been a colourful manager, from his days fighting with Benitez on the touchline at Anfield to his days having a public battle with Gattuso at the San Siro.

When you sign Jose up to win titles you often don’t expect too much courtesy and grace, he wins things at whatever cost be it the cost of 70% possession total football or the cost of a Sporting Director’s job.

Many clubs around the world hold the motto in principle that ‘No person is bigger than this football club’ but the question has to be asked, does Jose think no football club is bigger than him?

So many questions being asked about the Perez policy of giving Jose ultimate control over every aspect at Real Madrid football club with one clear and obvious ambition… To beat Barcelona.

I’m not questioning his tactics, nor am I questioning his team selection I am questioning his sanity and whether chasing Barcelona is gradually deteriorating Mourinho’s sanity.

The image of him sitting in the stands, the story of him sitting in a hotel room, the eye gauge on Barcelona coach Tito yesterday evening shows the lengths Jose will go to to try and get into the heads of people at Barcelona.

It’s certainly not a sign of strength and in fact sits closer to the fence of desperation in terms of the scale Jose has gone to in trying to beat Barcelona.

A Copa victory did nothing for him and he openly admits it, he wants to beat them comfortably in the Champions League or La Liga because he observes the challenge of knocking this great team off their perch as the greatest historic accomplishment of his managerial career.

Does he care for Real Madrid football club post Mourinho?

No. But a legacy is not what Perez brought Jose in for, he brought him in to win titles and trophies.

This is the most important season of Jose’s career, if he fails the self pity and dent in his ego could possibility force him to retire.

At the minute I fear for the stability of Jose’s mental state come next May, if he wins the La Liga title somehow it will certainly have been down to even more extreme means than eye gauging Villannova.

I dread to think.  And if he loses then the lengths he would have went to in the season would have been more desperate than what we have witnessed so far, this season could be the breaking of Jose Mourinho.

The ‘Special One’ if facing a test that he under estimated when he came into Real Madrid and has become increasingly desperate and extreme in his measures to uproot the Barcelona camp,.

I truly fear for what Jose will do if he fails because the club (Real) will rebuild and try again but the toll on Jose and the absolute obsession he has with upending Barcelona I fear will lead to a serious lack of confidence and at the expense of a portion of his sanity and the demise of his unnerved persona.

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