Mourinho Is Jealous Of Wenger
It doesn’t seem like the fallout from the Stamford Bridge refereeing debacle is going to blow over any time soon. Diego Costa has just started a three match ban and, with Chelsea already stuttering in the league, the enforced absence of his choice front-man, Jose Mourinho is showing no sign of stopping his cries of unfairness and favouritism.
Gabriel ‘escaped’ the wrath of the partisan FA with just a one match ban for failing to leave the pitch for a sending off that was revoked. The true farce, according to sycophantic followers of Jose, is Costa getting banned for his repeated infractions, many of which he gets away with on a weekly basis. Gabriel missed one half of the Chelsea match, was not included against Spurs as the preparation had already been done in the assumption Gabriel was banned and was then forced to miss the Leicester match. That is, technically, a 2.5 game ban for doing, what three ex-professional referees felt, was hardly card worthy. To add insult to injury, Kurt Zouma went completely unpunished for grabbing Gabriel by the throat, a clear red card offence. But there is a campaign against Chelsea.
For a man who gets a pretty good deal from the media and more than his fair share of contentious decisions in his favour, Mourinho is quick to point out ‘nepotism’ where other managers are concerned.
His recent outburst against Wenger, a thinly veiled one, demonstrates the true character of the man. He is a highly successful manager but seems obsessed with Arsène Wenger, a man he ironically once accused of voyeurism.
Many journalists, pundits and ex-players talk about Costa and Mourinho in a similar way, most likely because they are cut from the same cloth. It is claimed that they are universally disliked outside of the club they are in but secretly they are the sort of people you would like to have as your main striker or manager. I can’t speak for all Arsenal supporters but I can categorically state that I wouldn’t. There might have been a time I looked at either and felt they would be good for Arsenal but I never knew what a scumbag Costa was until he arrived in England and Mourinho gets worse with age. They are truly reprehensible characters in the footballing world, nasty, petulant, classless, sneaky little men which an inferiority complex. Mourinho’s recent actions reaffirms my position on that; I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my club.
Speaking to the media before the Newcastle game he said “I think in this country, only one manager is not under pressure. Steve McClaren is under pressure, I am under pressure, Brendan Rodgers, Manuel Pellegrini – everybody is under pressure. We cannot lose matches, we cannot be below expectations, we have to reach our objectives. I have sympathy with them, and I believe they have also sympathy to myself because it’s a difficult job. There is one that for some reason is outside that list. Good for him.”
When pressed to name the manager he replied “You know. He can speak about the referees before the game, after the game, can push people in the technical area, can cry in the morning, cry in the afternoon and nothing happens. Can not achieve, keep the job, still the king… it’s a privilege.”
This is jealousy, as plain as day. Mourinho is the more successful manager but I believe he is jealous of Arsène Wenger and that is why he acts towards him the way he does. He opted to turn the conversation towards Wenger. He was being asked a question about Steve McClaren and made it about Wenger. He lives up to the caricature Arsenal supporters have of him deflecting awkward questions about his management or team with “yeah, but have you seen Wenger?”. Wenger is no saint and can certainly be an arrogant so and so. He has rubbed many managers up the wrong way over the last 19 years but there has always been a level of respect, the animosity always calmed or dissipated after a while. That has not been the case with Mourinho. The animosity has increased and there was probably no way back to a place of civility once Mourinho called him a ‘specialist in failure’.
Last year when Mourinho was playing down Chelsea’s title credentials Wenger responded to a question about it suggesting maybe Mourinho was downplaying out of “fear to fail”. Mourinho took this rather innocuous comment as a declaration of war and retaliated with nuclear force stating “If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure. He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”
If you look at what he said after the infamous barb it too smacks of jealousy. Mourinho will never have the job security that Wenger does and that seems to rankle him. He has never been praised for his quality of football the way Wenger has and that probably irks him too. He is looking at a far less successful manager who has managed to keep his job for 19 years with little to show for it in 8 of the last 10 whereas he has been sacked from every job he has ever had since his first move abroad in 2004 – despite winning multiple trophies. He came to Chelsea the first time as the ‘Special One’ and after two back to back titles he probably felt untouchable only to find himself ousted by Abramovich who wanted his expensive play toy to entertain him. After many years of continued success and ever changing managers he sought to bring back his most successful manager but it was clear the relationship had changed. When it came to being Chelsea manager, Mourinho didn’t seem as cocky or as sure of his indispensability calling himself the ‘Happy One’. He was home, back in the place he was most well-thought of and appreciated but more wary of getting on the wrong side of his boss. Possibly that explains his bizarre comments about the media campaigning and conspiring against him when before they were his greatest allies and most enraptured audience.
Mourinho was never loved in Italy, the Spanish media loathed him and would not pander to his ego the way the insipid British media do. His success at these clubs never afforded him the comfort of the job security a manager like Wenger has had. It must be difficult constantly looking over your shoulder, never being able to rest, wondering when the phone call will come that will force you to up sticks again. I would have sympathy for him if he wasn’t such a cretinous acerbic canker. He made a rod for his own back with win at all costs, mercenary tactics and was treated as a disposable mercenary. He came in, did a job, brought some order with trophies which quelled fan unrest and someone else was brought in who aligned more with the ideals of the clubs he had previously been employed by.
Jose may feel that Arsène hasn’t earned his job security or that the media are too friendly with him, especially when you compare their success charts, but Arsène’s longevity at Arsenal is the result of his successes, his reaction to failure and the relationships he has cultivated. The media are friendly with him on the whole because he has been around so long and many journalists covering the Premier League have no pre-Wenger careers to speak of. His early success at Arsenal came without a billion pound price tag and he kept Arsenal in the Champions League through a difficult financial period. His bosses felt he had earned the right to spend the money when it became available. He has won two trophies in a row, four if you count the Community Shield which people rarely do, and has maintained a level of attractive football.
Many will disagree that he has earned his job security but it is not the fans who ultimately decide, it is the owners and chairmen. Wenger cannot be blamed for Mourinho failing to cultivate meaningful and respectful relationships with his bosses. Wenger is a charming man who is sometimes abrasive, Mourinho is an abrasive man who is sometimes charming. It’s a clear difference between the two men. One is win at all costs, the other is more considerate about the long-term future of his club and it’s clear which one is most appreciated by those who aren’t mired in the present. Wenger has a bust at the Emirates Stadium alongside Arsenal great Herbert Chapman because he is that well-thought of.
In Spain and Italy Jose was disliked for his egotistical nature; they found Jose to be a malevolent and petulant character. He was accused of freezing out Casillas because he suspected he was leaking information to his media presenter girlfriend. Whether it was true or not is irrelevant, Mourinho failed to inspire loyalty from those players the way he did the Chelsea players. Maybe he felt he was a naturally inspirational character, when it is entirely possible the Chelsea players loved him because he made them successful whereas the Madrid players were well-versed in success.
Wenger commands loyalty and respect from his players because of how he treats them. He doesn’t call them out publicly after a match or use the media as a mouthpiece to berate them. Wenger is a supportive manager who motivates his players, inspires them with his vision for their future. Mourinho breaks players down, sometimes to build them up again in his image, sometimes it seems just because he can. Wenger builds them up and that is why he is universally loved by all of his ex-players.
When I was a child I loved Ghostbusters and despite not being from even a comfortable financial background I was lucky enough to own almost every piece of Ghostbuster merchandise and paraphernalia going. In the 80s and 90s commercialism and merchandising wasn’t what it was today so the range was much smaller but still, I had it all – except the Ghostbuster helicopter. You’re probably thinking “But they didn’t have a helicopter” and you’d be right but a 6 year old doesn’t think like that. The boy next door had the Ghostbusters helicopter and a few copies of the toys I had and I hated him for it. His collection was smaller than mine – he had other interests – but he had the helicopter. It did not matter to me that his parents had elected to buy him that particularly expensive toy rather than a wider selection of cheaper items like I had. It did not matter that more of our mutual friends wanted to play at my house with my proton packs, ghost traps and boiler-suits. He had something I wanted and I obsessed over it.
Mourinho’s attitude to Wenger reminds me of this. Wenger has something he wants and will most likely never have. It doesn’t matter that he gets the silverware, more resources and media adulation. It’s not enough for him. The difference between Mourinho’s obsession with what he doesn’t have and mine is I grew out of it.
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