Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football






Right now most of them are sitting on the anti-Mourinho fence and that is fine but make no mistake, Spanish Editors love Mourinho. When he speaks they feel like a 15-year-old boy who has just pulled up his blinds and found Megan Fox, or whomever 15-year-old boys like these days, getting changed in front of them, having forgotten to draw the curtains. Yes, Mourinho is gold to the Spanish Media. He provides them when story after story and they need it. He came as a hero and may leave as a villain but for the media he was a saviour, providing them with constant articles.


It is surprising to see that those that once praised the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ are how devoted to writing his epitaph. But, don’t be fooled because although they may not even know it yet, should Mourinho go and all signs are pointing towards the fact that he very well may go, they might be out of a job. The media are saying, or implying, that the reason that they have swayed from ‘yea’ to ‘nay’ is because of the Portuguese’s behaviour of late but they backed him when he poked someone in the eye, when he bullied a player and when he started countless arguments with other Coaches, and only now his attitude annoys them? So what is the real reason for the sway? Public Opinion. That is it. Right now after dropping Casillas, the former Chelsea man has seen his popularity drop. It seems that now it is in fashion to be in the anti crowd and so the media have followed like sheep. That may sound a little far-fetched but ask yourself this, if Real Madrid fans were chanting, all 80,000, Mourinho’s name in the Bernabeu, do you think they would be writing articles against him?


Make no mistake, this is not a defence for Mourinho. He has played with the Press his whole career, but he finally met his match. There was no line in the sand here in Spain, nothing was off-limits. At first they praised his relationship with his son, then they wanted to sacrifice the boy, Omen style, because his father went to watch one of his football games when he should have been working! Mourinho should have been prepared for this but he wasn’t. He had worked in Spain before and he knew that the press would pounce should it all go pear-shaped and it has and even the most disillusioned Real Madrid fan can’t look back on his time so far and feel a little disappointed.


So far he has delivered one Copa and one League. The job he was brought to Madrid to do, well, that is better off ignored. They got him and he came to deliver La Decima. So far that has become a poisoned Chalice for the club. Every year the club and media outlets predict that this is the year and each season it is the sword they fall on, as the expectation is too great. Mourinho is the man who could handle the pressure, but they are still waiting. Millions has been spent, but this year it is two German sides who are battling it out for Old Big Ears in Wembley.


Right now it looks like Chelsea will be his destination. Most fans can’t wait to see the back of him, but they don’t realize that the war of words hasn’t even started. For as much as Mourinho has said, I still believe that he is holding back. He has held his tongue over a number of issues and maybe when he goes, he will finally let loose. Yet, he is also being clever. He wants to go, but also knows that he if he leaves, he gets nothing from Real Madrid, and Chelsea know they will have to pay compensation. Real Madrid know that if they fire him that they have to pay him off, and so we have stuck in what is a football version of ‘chicken’. Mourinho is prepared to stay, but should he stay, many stars may seek a move. That, the Portuguse Coach is hoping, will force their hand. Real Madrid on the other hand know that he is desperate to leave Spain, and so they are hoping Chelsea will fly in and save the day.


Should he go, as mentioned above, the real losers will be the media. They may be forced to actually do real journalism and report on games for a change. If in June Mourinho does leave, he would like to do so singing the classic ‘My Way’, but instead of the Frank Sinatra version, one expects that the Sid Vicious, Sex Pistols’ cover, may be better suited.



Garreth Nunn On May - 9 - 2013

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