There is an illness sweeping the nation, one that might not be officially recognised by the World Health Organisation but the symptoms of which are acute and often painful. Sadly too, there is no known cure. Are you suffering from Mourinho Fatigue?
If you are, fear not because you are anything but alone. In fact, there is probably a support group up and running nearby that is thriving what with the Portuguese coach’s recent return to the Premier League.
What a redundant sentence that is: what with the Portuguese coach’s recent return to the Premier League. As if that is information worth committing to print. As if we weren’t already exhaustively aware that the white-haired ego-maniac was back in town, dominating conversation and the back pages alike.
Just one win was all it took against a pitiful West Ham for the media to decree his time at Tottenham is a successful one. When Dele Alli fell to ground yet somehow managed to flick the ball on to Son to set up Tottenham’s second the BT cameras honed in on Jose with an accompanying flowery commentary. As if it was he responsible for the audacious improvisation and this after taking just a singular training session. As if it wouldn’t have happened under Pochettino.
A few days later, in light of Spurs’ victory over Olympiacos, the Daily Mail committed to a ‘Special Report’ headlined: How Joker Jose Mourinho Has Got Spurs Smiling Again. Another victory over Bournemouth on Saturday has only fuelled the narrative.
That’s fair enough because if there is one thing we know about the man – there are a million and one things told to us on a seemingly endless loop – it’s that he always encourages a happy working environment. Sarcasm is beneath us all but sometimes what are we left with?
Last week Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal. It’s a huge story. A significant story. Yet what comes up on the newsfeed over and above all other narratives? That the Gunners had Mourinho in mind to replace him.
When the Mourinho virus is at its most pervasive it is never about the players; it is never about the clubs; it is never about the Premier League. As far as the press are concerned it is always about him.
And we all know what comes next, from this infantilising infatuation. The failure. The strops. The blame-shifting and sideswipes at his board. The cruel isolation of players. The delusional, breath-taking arrogance. The surly, spiteful sniping at his peers dressed up as ‘mind games’. The negative football. The peeling away of the layers to reveal who Jose Mourinho really is and there is very little of interest there and less to admire. He is, ultimately the predictable one.
At every step along this inevitable decline into toxicity the media will have a field day. They will believe he is ‘box-office’ and that will hang off his every word.
For some of us though those words have been heard before, over and over again. His actions now fail to surprise or appal.
And we’d really rather just get back to the football.
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