Jose Mourinho came to England as a likeable character, willing to speak his mind and tell a situation as it was. He began to believe a bit too much of his own publicity, acting up in the press conferences and starting to make some embarrassing comments. Worst of all was his insults directed at Ronaldo, where he claimed our winger was badly educated, of a poor class, with a disadvantaged upbringing.
Mourinho is clearly no longer the cool, calm and collected man that first arrived in the Premiership, obviously feeling the heat at the moment. Less than 24 hours after being drawn against Manchester United, he is already trying to get the ball rolling with the mind games.
Wayne Rooney was the centre of controversy (for a change, right? With this obsessed nation having little else to talk about than United, apparently) a couple of weeks ago after an incident in our final group stage match against Aalborg.
Mourinho has today tried to compare this incident with that of Michael Essien on Didi Hamann when the Ghanaian midfielder was charged with ‘gross unsporting conduct’ following a review from UEFA. After committing what could have been a career ending challenge, UEFA rightly banned Essien, meaning he missed Chelsea’s matches against Barcelona, as they were dumped out of the Champions League.
“When I was with Chelsea something really extraordinary happened when through TV evidence Essien was suspended for three games and didn’t play our two games against Barcelona,” said Mourinho. “The same thing didn’t happen last week with Rooney, so he will be available to play against us in the knockout stage. But I accept all this which is a consequence of the rules.”
The problem with Mourinho’s comparison is that in the case of Rooney, the so-called attacked player pleaded on Rooney’s behalf. He asked for UEFA not to ban our player and claimed the TV replays made the incident look a lot worse than it actually was. Hamann, grateful to still be playing the game, obviously was not saying the same of Essien following their clash.
Mourinho is going to have to do a lot better than this if he wants to keep up with Sir Alex Ferguson where mind games are concerned!
The RoM 2017-18 Season Preview is available for just £5. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Paul Scholes, a Q&A with the country's top journalists about our transfer targets, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.