Same routine that’s been happening for the past three seasons: Jose Mourinho finds himself under tons of pressure and in the need to explain why Real Madrid aren’t doing as well as expected. The result? Blaming the referee, his players and Barcelona for everything that’s wrong in his life.

Another loss, this time 1-0 to Betis, creates a very unique situation. Barcelona are 11 points ahead of Real Madrid, who aren’t even at second, a spot occupied by Atletico Madrid. Even more shocking, as the Madrid derby approaches faster than a speeding bullet: Atletico enter the derby with an 8 point lead over Real, backed by another impressive win, this time 4-0 over Sevilla.

Whether Atletico are for real or not, we’ll find out in the coming month when they play both Barcelona and Real Madrid. One thing we do know: The problems at Real Madrid are not just imaginary or some media dabbling into a healthy team. Jose Mourinho, who led the club to a league title last season, seems to be juggling with a team that’s somewhat in the wrong direction, and playing badly despite having the most talented squad in the world, according to some.

But the interesting thing is the blame game, beginning with the referee. Mourinho doesn’t blast him immediately, but builds it up nicely.

I congratulated the Betis players because they gave it their all and fought from the first minute to the last with great spirit and sacrifice. They aren’t to blame for Benzema’s goal being ruled out or the clear penalty in the last minutes of the match and therefore they deserve my respect because they played better than Real Madrid. 

Despite benefiting from the referee’s two mistakes, they deserved to win. The referee was hugely at fault for a wrongly-disallowed Benzema goal and a clear penalty in the closing minutes. But Betis deserve my respect because they outplayed Real Madrid.

Mark the referee down. Next? His own players. Mourinho, as usual, does this double game of taking the blame but making it clear to everyone that he isn’t the real reason for his team not playing well. He’s just the coach, so he has to take the blame.

When we win, we all win, but when we lose, the coach loses. Why is it my fault? I try to be fair and objective, and when my team lose, I do not seek excuses or blame other things. Obviously some players played Wednesday who could not play today. 

Obviously there are other teams that have an easier match calendar but we are talking about top professionals and you have to take into account mental toughness, ambition and spirit. A player of 23 or 24 years should be able to play two games in four days. As always, because I speak out, and I’m the only one who has spoken out, I’ll be the bad guy.

Two birds with one stone; Poking his players from not being fit enough to handle two competitions, performing in a disappointing manner in both; and the obvious jab at Barcelona and their scheduling magic, something he hasn’t done in quite a while. Still, Mourinho hasn’t given up on the season and the titles that are up for grabs.

Last season we had 10 more points than our opponents in March and then we drew twice and the situation became more complicated. Maybe at the end of the year we are 11, 13, nine, eight or 12 points behind. We are not going to be four, five or three points behind. It’s wide open, but let’s not be too optimistic nor too pessimistic. 

It’s complicated, but I can’t focus on just one competition. It’s impossible. I think from one match to the next and the next match is the Copa del Rey, then La Liga and then it’s the Champions League. But at this point last season our fans were optimistic, it’s understandable that now they are pessimistic and think we can’t go on to win.

A great coach and an incredibly interesting human being, but a sore loser. It’s still early in the season, 13 matches in, but we have seen Real Madrid plenty of times this year and have been rarely impressed. Maybe the players lack a certain hunger and mental toughness, like Mourinho said. But somewhere along the way, he’s not doing his job like he’s supposed to.