No one should be bigger than their own working place. Jose Mourinho has one of best footballing minds in the world, but also one of the biggest egos. The combination of the two has led him to great success, but to quite a rocky time at Real Madrid, reaching some sort of peak, or low, depends how you look at it, with the benching of Iker Casillas.
Iker Casillas isn’t having the best of seasons, no one will argue with that. But is he that bad that he deserved to get benched? Were all the Real Madrid problems in set pieces his fault? You can look at the Spanish side, where Casillas is teamed up with Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Arbeloa, and see that it’s a very different case there. Is Pepe really that bad, or that inferior to Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique? Maybe these are the defensive schemes Del Bosque uses, although it’s better Mourinho doesn’t hear about it, because he’ll start some war of words with the Spanish head coach as well.
A look as to how he treats the prominent Spanish players in his club, in comparison with the Portuguese faction, demonstrates just how “professional” his decision to leave Casillas out of the Malaga match. If this was about bad form, why hasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo been benched? Scoring two goals in nine matches isn’t exactly scorching, and that merits a little benching as well, doesn’t it?
Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t be benched, because even if his game is a little off lately, a man who creates at least 5-6 good chances every match on his own isn’t someone you can afford to sit down. You just have to wait for his attempts to start falling in the right place, and they will pretty soon. Ronaldo is having a “bad” season, and he’s scored 14 goals in 17 matches. Just goes to show what high standards some have gotten used to.
Casillas getting benched had nothing to do with form. While it’s hard to believe Jose Mourinho would actually try and get himself fired, as in failing on purpose at his own job, believing that your time with the club is over and wanting to go out in a way that benefits you, both in terms of what you’re going to say to the media and financially (very very important), this may have been the beginning of somewhat of a sabotage attempt. If he would’ve succeeded, he’d have been a genius. But it failed. Not because of the replacement goalkeeper, although the third goal was his fault. Real Madrid are simply defending terribly at the moment, with the mistakes usually coming from Pepe.
Casillas has been targeted because he’s a media darling, and because he refused to turn the Real Madrid – Barcelona war into something that effects the national team. He didn’t criticize referees like Mourinho wants his players to after matches. Casillas didn’t say anything bad about Mourinho after the match. I’m sure power in the dressing room is important to him as well, but he’s going about it in the right way.
Mourinho wants to win for Mourinho. To say he’s won this number of titles; this number of Champions League trophies with this number of teams. Is he a great manager, or just a man who got to work with some very talented and expensive squads? After the loss to Malaga, Mourinho went on an inexplicable attack on Pellegrini, saying he himself will never go to work for a club like Malaga. Too small for his needs, ambitions, and his ego.