Thursday, February 23, 2006

World Rolls Its Eyes At Jose's Complaints

Its difficult to know how history will judge Jose Mourinho - he is, after all, still a relatively young manager. His career so far has been a glittering one, the FA Cup being the only major trophy available to him which he is yet to win. He achieved the unthinkable with Porto in winning the Champions League with a team from outside of Europe's major leagues. He stormed into English football dripping with dusky charisma, straddling the Chelsea beast to bust up the stale hegemony of Manchester United and Arsenal. And Britain has anointed him a high level star in the new celebrity firmament.

But on nights like last night, watching his team beaten by mesmeric Barcelona, and listening to his sour rant after the match, it is clear that, for all his success, he will never occupy the pantheon of managerial greats - Michels, Zagalo, Busby, Stein, Shankly, Paisley, Sacchi, Lobanovsky to name but a few - men who inspired people to love the game. Even dear old Alex Ferguson, for all his arrogance and mindgames, produced breathtaking football teams.

Last night's match, and possibly now the tie, hung on the dismissal of Asier del Horno after 35 minutes, but no one who has the good of football at heart will feel sorry for Chelsea this morning, even if they felt that Del Horno's red card was harsh. The matter of Abramovich's billions aside, Chelsea's credit at the morality bank was negligible for anyone who has watched them under Mourinho. For anyone who watched the same fixture last year, and saw the choreographed cheat by Ricardo Carvalho which led to John Terry's winner, and then listened to Mourinho's complaints about del Horno's sending off and Messi's role in it, Chelsea's right to feel hard done by is gladly waived.

Having made his name on the concept of living by the sword, you'd think Mourinho would have accepted dying by it.

That's not to suggest that del Horno's sending off was unjustified. The Spaniard's challenge on the little Argentine, who had been in the process of giving the full-back on old fashioned roasting (titter ye not) on the right wing, was reckless and referee Terje Hauge was within his rights to send del Horno off for violent conduct. Messi may have overdone the dramatic rolls once floored, but del Horno did likewise in an attempt to play the "you wouldn't book an injured man, would you?" card.

Chelsea's best characteristics came to the fore thereafter, digging in manfully with ten men and forcing an unlikely lead via an own goal from a wicked Lampard free kick. Whatever else comes up on footballing Judgement Day for Mourinho, his Chelsea team will be credited with immense spirit and resolve, and looked like they would grind out a famous result as Barcelona seemed to toil against the resolute home side.

The substitution of Henrik Larsson for Motta was timed to prefection by Frank Rijkaard - it was seemed to provide the Catalans with another gear as the tiring Chelsea rearguard began to spring leaks from repeated piercings by Ronaldinho, Messi and co. One wonders if the final irony about last night's titanic encounter was that Chelsea's ten men tired rapidly due to the heaviness of their controversial pitch?

Like all of the last 16 ties, this one will have another few twists in store in a fortnight, and you wouldn't put it past Chelsea to summon their sense of grievance and resolve into a heroic last stand, but for most football fans, not just those of Barcelona, there was the sense that a bit of justice was done last night.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said mate, well said

11:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly! I didn't hear him complaining about Reina's sending off a couple of weeks ago due to Robbens play-acting. As Andy Gray "eventually" said while commentating the game - you reap what you sow....

11:51 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article.

I also thought Robben's lunge was worthy of a red card if it had made contact seconds before the Del Horno.

Also I think Chelsea were lucky to get Del Horno off the pitch as thr longer he stayed on the more chances Messi had.

To reach the pinnacle the special one needs to learn how to lose, he has never said his team have been outplayed and given credit to any team he faces.

Compare this to the new young Madrid manager who was gracious by defeat at the hands of Arsenal

11:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone realised yet that del Horno is Spanish for "roasted"...

12:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic

That hypocrite Mourinho has no shame.

Now he's just making himself laughable.

I have never previously supported a foreign team over EPL opposition but I cheered Barca as though they were my home team and had a sitting room full of people doing likewise.

Moourinho's stategy is the same as a little team, but whilst the Bolton's and Wimbledons of this world have to make do with dodgy tactic to compete against those teams with more money, Chelsea have no sporting right to cheat, manipulate and resort to underhand tactics when they're the richest of all clubs.

Great point about the pitch tiring the legs of 10 man Chelsea, serves them right

12:30 p.m.  
Anonymous Dunner said...

I watched 'The Special One' give a press confernace on Tuesday during which he was asked about the Spanish appetite for going down like a roll of lino in the faintest of challenges. He actually said the words "I have warned all my players to be careful." They obviously don't listen.

He also claimed that it was part of European football culture that does not exist in England. Is he living in Cloud Cuckoo Land ?

12:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sensible view this, on a morning of hysteria. Del Horno was very lucky not to get yellow at least for the earlier high lunge on Messi (why did Andy Gray insist on calling him 'Metzi' all night please ?). The second challenge was certainly a foul, certainly a yellow and a borderline red - either way Del Horno can have few complaints about the outcome. Mourinho is naive to imagine Messi's (over the top) reaction made any real difference to the ref's decision. The important thing was the angle the ref saw it from - with Del Horno's left leg high up on Messi.

12:38 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

Some good points and obviously ever so slightly anti-Chelsea feeling on here today! I didn't mention the Reina/Robben incident but it demostrates precisely the kind of hyprocrisy which makes Mourinhos attitude last night annoying.
In fairness though, JM is not the only manager guilty of ignoring his own players misdemeanours then criticising others, but since his Porto days his teams have always used the game's dark arts for their gain, hence the lack of sympathy here this morning

12:42 p.m.  
Anonymous JO'Calebs said...

JO'Calebs, nigeria wrote:

GREAR ARTICLE, QUITE INCISIVE...

No doubt, Chelski took a beating yesterday and Jose needs to learn that in football, the outcome of any match could be a win, draw and a loss. Jose never admit that his team has been roundly beaten. The problem with Jose is he's arrogant and he's infected the entire team with that bad flu. On the other hand, you cant blame him too much. I learnt this is his 15th loss in 5 years of coaching. Jose will be a great manager if and if only...he learns the brutal fact of football.

All of this makes the 2nd leg more interesting.You can be sure of more whinnings just before and after the second leg.

Jose cant complain about refereeing when much decisions in the past had been in his team's favour. Whatever comes round always go round. Grow up, Mr Jose.

12:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so refreshing to see some anti-Chelsea commentary for once.

1:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it is incredibly hypocritical of mourinho to preach about diving and the like when you consider how he got porto to the CL final..they used to dive all the time to break up the flow of the game and then nick one at the other end.mourinhos just a spoilt brat who hopefully will be brought down to earth if arsenal, manu and liverpool get their act together

1:23 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valid points all the way. Two elements that need to be adressed though are:

Del Horno's pathetic display of pain as if HE was shot. Please! Right to point out this disgracefull lack of even the most basic integrity. Are these people MEN? Do the three points really mean that you have to sell your soul to the devil and become a complete "prick" for the lack of a better word?

No, it doesn't. Look at Ronaldinho. The man was hammered and fouled every time he get near the ball. Outcome: the MAN kept smiling and playing the game. You can't help but love it. That is what it is all about. And Ronaldinho's love for being on the pitch and actually playing football is contagious.

For Chelsea, I am pleased that they have Lampard. He is not only their best player, but also the one with the most integrity. He knows that he is good enough to win without resorting to being dirty, and generally unfair.

Were Chelsea hard done by? Hell no!!! Two solid penalty claims were ignored completely!!!!! Totally, no mention what so ever.

The fact that Barca's positive apporach completely took apart Chelsea negativity also ignored. Was it not for Terry and Cech, it would have been 1-5. In fact, it should have been 1-5.

But mostly, yesterday was the day when evil lost. Simple as that. And I for one feel like I am watching Serie A when I see Chelsea. Such hypocricy and lack of character. And Robben, what a prick!!! Listen boy, you are good enough to win without the crap, stop it. I can't stand to watch them anymore, and hopefully Barca will put them out of their mysery for good in two weeks time.

Football is physical and hard, but should be fair. Chelsea is not. Mourinho is not. It is plain wrong.

With football optimism

Gus J.

1:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah agree with that they deserve it. plus they played dirty all game like a bunch of bolton hackers, and they ref let it all go. suck it down you dirty hackers!

1:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good the see the world at large is beginning to see through Mourinho's sham and take him for what he is. Pity that the Sky team, and Andy Gray in particular, couldn't take off their blue-shaded specs last night, and comment as objectively on the game, the sending-off and Mourinho's disgraceful post-match interview which ended with him walking away in one of his massive sulks.

2:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you believe the special needs one also moaned about the size of Barca's squad!!!!

Talk about the pot calling the f**king kettle black!

2:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like an echo chamber of anti-Chelsea bile in here. As a Blues supporter, I thought Del Horno's sending off was harsh (a yellow card would have been more appropriate), and how anyone can deny that Messi did a little play-acting to make it look worse than it was is beyond me.

Keep it coming people. I think all of this hate directed at the club creates a siege mentality that Mourinho uses quite effectively.

I'm also proud of the way Chelsea played last night - taking the match 10 v 11 to perhaps the best team in the world.

2:41 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

A Chelsea perspective at last! Good point that Mourinho, just like Fergie used to, loves to create the no-one likes us we don't care mentality, and its a great way to build team spirit. Its why I wouldn't put it past them to do something in a fortnight. Don't think anyone is denying Messi was playacting, just suggesting that JM doesn't really have the right to complain about it

2:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Dunner said...

On a related note: It's a terrible indictment of soccer in general that one of the biggest talking points of the Champions League this week is two grown men writhing around on the ground after little bump off each other near the corner flag. Both performances would have been laughed of the stage at the Abbey. I've seen more painful challenges on Dream-Team.

It is a scourge of the game, and unfortunately for soccer fans everywhere, now more than ever the highly paid girly-men that play the game are making a mockery of the supporters.

Seriously, turn down the sound, watch the challenge without context and it will make you laugh. Rolling around like a Chuck Norris 'B' Movie. It's pathetic, from both sides. Is there not rule against 'simulation' ?

Why was that not enforced ? Surely the referee can't be intimidated by Wayne Sleep in a blue or a yellow jersey ?

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

Ah Dunner, focussing the discussion sagely as always....Quite right, its a disgrace, and the single biggest threat to the game's credibility since Carlton Palmer played for England. I'm all for a Simulation Judgment Panel, viewing matches and handing down draconian punishments for clear incidents of diving etc.

4:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Bridge over Roubled Waters said...

Have the bogmen issued any medical bulletins yet on del Horno's throat and knee injuries?

If ChelSky Sports follow orders and show replays all week of the incident, spot where after about roll #5 del Horno cops on that feigning a life-threatening throat injury is OTT and switches to grasping his shattered knee. So sad.

Of course, you may have to get in quick before the special needs one orders them to edit that out.

Class and respect cannot be purchased. Chelsea never had either and never will.

4:52 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

class and Chelsea two words that don't sit easily together like celery and electric fences!
The neutrals amongst us can only sit and wonder how a team that has been put together at such a cost eg Drogba £23 million etc etc can try to play in a fashion so opposed to how Barcelona try to approach the game ie we will score more than you.
One can only admire the teams that tried to win games by playing beautiful football Arsenal(1998-2004) Manchester United(1992-2002)Real Madrid Barcelona etc etc etc is it too much to ask that the richest club in the world try to approach the game in the right way ie entertain us?

6:50 p.m.  
Blogger DrCelt said...

sorry token blue, it'll all end in tears

8:38 p.m.  

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