El Centrocampista

ON BORROWED TIME? – How long will Pérez put up with the ‘Special One’?

By Jamie Milligan

I first became aware of the name Jose Mourinho when he was in charge of a Porto side which took on and defeated Celtic in the 2003 Uefa Cup Final.

Being of a Rangers persuasion, I instantly warmed to the Portuguese Coach.

Over the next eight years I grew to respect and admire him as he achieved startling success at both Chelsea and Inter Milan.

As a Spanish football fan I was then naturally delighted when Mourinho took over as Manager of Real Madrid last summer.

I felt that with him in charge Real Madrid could go from strength to strength and challenge Barcelona’s dominance.

The prospect of watching Mourinho’s Madrid take on Guardiola’s all conquering Barcelona was something I really looked forward to witnessing.

12 months on, my eager anticipation has been replaced by disappointment and frustration.

Will Florentino Pérez stand by his controversial coach?

Whilst there can be no doubt that Mourinho has improved Real Madrid and is closing the gap on Barcelona with every “Classico” played, it is my opinion that Mourinho has had an extremely negative impact on both the fixture and Spanish football as a whole.

Real Madrid Vs Barcelona was always a hotly contested derby match but the last few meetings have gone way beyond that.

They have been fuelled by hate and resentment and that is something I have not witnessed in Spanish football before.

Nothing encapsulates this change more than the events of last Wednesday night.

After 90 of the most beautiful, breath-taking football I have ever had the pleasure of watching, Marcelo’s cynical challenge on Marcelo sparked an all out brawl between the two teams.

With Fabregas crumpled on the ground, both benches poured onto the pitch and began squaring up to each other.

In the middle of this drama, Mourinho slyly, almost like a fox, made his way over to the Barcelona dugout and appeared to grab the ear of Barcelona Assistant Tito Vilanaova.

Replays however showed that the Real Madrid manager did in fact gauge the eye of Vilanova.

As a regular attendant of Old Firm matches I thought I had seen just about all that a football derby could throw at me.

I’ve seen referees assaulted, fans throw themselves from the stand but I have never witnessed a manager lay hands on a rival coach.

It was an utterly despicable thing for Mourinho to do and something I feel he should spent the entire season in the stand for (Although it appears unlikely as the silence from the Spanish FA has been deafening).

I mean, can you actually imagine Sir Alex Ferguson assaulting Arsene Wenger of Ally McCoist assaulting Neil Lennon?

There would be total bedlam if that were to happen here.

Once my initial disbelief subsided, I was left both angry at Mourinho for acting like nothing more than a street thug but also wondering what on Earth has happened to the once unflappable, super-cool Coach.

It appears to me that since Mourinho’s arrival in Spain he has slowly deteriorated.

Perhaps it is the realisation that for the first time in his career that he is second best but, to me, he has begun to look more and more unstable.

From ranting and raving about conspiracy theories and external influences to the assault on Vilanova, it seems to me that Jose Mourinho, the master of the mind games, is himself losing the plot.

It’s been suggested that Florentino Perez and various other Real Madrid Directors do not like Mourinho’s off the field conduct and are getting a bit fed up of it.

It is likely then that they will have been more than a little upset by his actions on Wednesday night. With the new Spanish season about to kick off and with the prospect of more negative headlines, is it conceivable that Perez could wield the axe on the Portuguese tactician in order to save Real Madrid’s public image?

I think so. I believe if Mourinho does not get a grip of his senses in the coming season then he could very well be thrown on the scrapheap for the first time in his career.

Whilst I have been less than impressed with his antics, I hope for the sake of a wonderful football manager that this does not happen.

One Comment

  1. ollydawes

    23 August, 2011 at 13:06

    Not long if today’s reports are to be believed.

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