Jose Mourinho’s enemy list grows longer with each passing season and before he puts away his bespoke suits for good it can be presumed it will read like the first half of War And Peace.
Wenger is a “voyeur” while Tito Vilanova couldn’t have voyeured even if he’d wanted to after having his eye gauged on an El Clasico touchline. Rafa Benitez meanwhile needs to cut down on his pork life and West Bromwich Albion are a ‘Mickey Mouse’ club.
These are just a sorry quartet from an extensive rap-sheet of offenses that offended yet all have one thing in common in that the intended targets for his spite were big and powerful enough to take it.
That’s perhaps why his latest spat has received such universal panning, a departure for the Special One whose barbed comments are usually celebrated by a largely sycophantic media.
On this occasion the victim in his crosshairs is not a rival boss or big-name player with an ego the size of his salary. It was a club employee, an employee who was simply doing her job. An employee who lacks the status, stage and microphone afforded to Mourinho.
If you are not already familiar with the circumstances that led to the Chelsea manager sticking the knife into Dr Eva Carneiro and subsequently demoting her of matchday duties then how is the moon at this time of year? To briefly recap though for the uninitiated the first team doctor, along with head physiotherapist Jon Fearn, ran on to treat an injured Eden Hazard as the minutes ebbed away in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against an impressive Swansea. Twice summoned on by referee Michael Oliver it would have been a serious dereliction of her duties to ignore a player in apparent pain lying prostate on the ground. Yet with Chelsea already a men down following Thibaut Courtois’ dismissal Mourinho was furious that this left his team with only eight outfield players and later said, “I was unhappy with my medical staff. They were impulsive and naive. Whether you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.”
This was quite palpably unfair and arguably edged into the territory of cruel bullying for reasons we will momentarily discuss. The Portuguese poseur is not averse to playing the blame-game. Here the dice was evidently loaded.
Support duly flooded in for the doctor and a simple appreciation of that support via Facebook infuriated Mourinho further, leading to Carneiro being stripped of many of her club duties. Now it was getting personal to the point of viciousness.
What escalates this wholly depressing episode above and beyond the Portuguese poseur’s usual acts of snideness however is the fact that Carneiro is a woman at the height of her profession and – sadly pertinent in this instance – a rather attractive one too.
Predictably her beauty has made her something of a celebrity among football supporters used to seeing balding gargoyles leg it onto the pitch brandishing their medical kit and while this has led to some hilariously hypocritical tweets of support while additionally making jokes about ‘groin sprains’ it also damns Mourinho further with an indisputable truth. The Spiteful One would have been acutely aware of the sensationalistic headlines and drama his comments would provoke – and the hurt they would cause – directly as a result of Carneiro’s ‘fame’. Which makes this not a gripe but a cold head shot.
I almost wrote ‘calculated’ then but that would lend itself to an often misconstrued perception of Mourinho’s supposed Machiavellian ways.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that he is not a master manipulator nor king of the wind-up but simply a thoroughly despicable human being? An absolute whopper in fact full to the brim with pettiness and bile.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that the notion of mind games in general is not a by-product of shrewd coaches plotting psychological warfare but rather arrogant, dislikeable middle-aged men under a great deal of pressure being arrogant, dislikeable middle-aged men?
Surely it can’t be a coincidence that those attributed with such wiliness all happen to enjoy having the best players at his disposal at the biggest clubs?
There is no disputing Mourinho’s managerial genius – the trophies and sustained success is evidence enough of that – but when those trophies and success are used as evidence for expertly laid cunning…well, I just don’t see that. It is a transparent and flimsy mask placed on him by a subservient media seeking further miles in any given story and I just don’t see that.
Furthermore, to what extent does his success and standing legitimise a brutal act of ungallant bullying as witnessed this week? I would suggest not at all.
To paraphrase from the Life of Brian – Jose Mourinho is not the messiah; he’s just a very nasty piece of work and his disgusting and cruel treatment of Dr Eva Carneiro has revealed that incontrovertibly. The mask has slipped and the excuses made for his behaviour have finally run out.