Football is about love and hate, success and failure, goals and misses. We see things in one dimension and there is little grey. Such an approach does not help us to assess Mourinho. We need some grey, some flexibility, and some give and take. So let me start at the beginning and say I loathe him – can’t stand him – dislike his whole persona and to give me a little credit let me say I do not feel like that about any other coach.
I have no anti-feelings towards Pep, Koeman, Pottechino. I may not warmly embrace Hughes and Pardew and Pulis but that is just because they have had digs at Wenger over the years – Allardyce as well. They are all professionals doing a difficult job. They are under constant pressure but good luck to them all including Big Sam and Ferguson as well. At the death there is passion, aggravation, tension and things can get out of hand but it happens and it passes.
Another point – it is not the touchline antics much as I dislike them. Mourinho was one of the first to prance up and down line and he has been followed by Klopp, Conte and others. It is an aspect of modern day football that we can do without but I accept Klopp and Conte and cannot apply a different standard to Mourinho.
Four points stand out in my mind. First is the glorying in the title of ‘The Special One’. I do not think for a moment that it is tongue in cheek. Mourinho has cultivated it and the UK media has indulged him. The media became entranced by Mourinho and worshipped, initially, at his feet.
Secondly, the incident with the Reading Ambulance Service when Mourinho looked for a scapegoat for the injury to Cech at Reading. The St Johns people and the ambulance people do a tremendous job. They help to keep football safe and never seek the limelight or reward and here is Mourinho trying to blame the Service alleging delay on their part contributed to Cech’s injury. An inquiry into the allegation was carried out and the Reading Ambulance Service were exonerated. Mourinho was silent
Third – he was banned from the dressing room for misbehaviour on the touchline in a UEFA competition and breached the ban by being wheeled into the dressing room in the kit trolley to acclaim and applause from the media.
Fourthly I cannot forgiev his conduct with Dr Carneiro. You all know the incident and his behaviour. It was a shame that she accepted undisclosed damages to settle her claim for constructive dismissal after the doctor came onto the pitch to treat Hazard at the instruction of referee Micael Oliver. Her prior refusal to accept escalating offers made it inevitable that Mourinho would have been cross-examined at the Industrial Tribunal hearing. That would have been quite revealing. She then accepted the money and Mourinho escaped what would have been a public humiliation.
So Mourinho is bad news. That is not to deny his talents. He has won many titles in different countries – he has ability – he is a shrewd tactician. Putting together the original Chelsea back four including Cole and Calvalho was a substantial achievement. And of course despite three defeats on the trot he might bounce back. Talent will out and he is talent but the negatives in terms of character and example should relegate him to the bottom of the table. Ethics and behaviour and knowing the difference between right and wrong do matter in life and in football. Most managers know this. Mourinho doesn’t. The game would be better without him.