Jose Mourinho is playing a weird mind game with… I’m not sure exactly who. The Media? Barcelona? His own players? Whatever it is, it’s working this season, and although he reverted to his old annoying habits after two draws against Villareal and Malaga, Real Madrid are back on track after a 3-0 win in Cyprus over APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League.
It was a boring UCL night in general. Chelsea stole a 1-0 win in Lisbon, making it very difficult believing Benfica can make something remarkable happen in England. It was far from entertaining football, but results matter, not style. Roberto Di Matteo is just trying not to lose as many times as possible, hopefully landing the job for next season or improving his stock price.
It was a boring match at the GSP stadium as well. APOEL were clearly outmatched. They didn’t attempt one shot at goal for the entire 90 minutes. The problem was Real weren’t so keen on playing fast and putting the game to bed early. It took them 74 minutes to find the first, breaking the Cypriots completely, finishing with three. Real Madrid C can play in the second leg and they’ll still make the Semi Final.
For 90 minutes, there was no controversy regarding Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho. Mourinho’s ability to keep the ‘Us against the World’ mentality on a team cruising towards a league title and so far in the Champions League brings results, there’s no doubt. But it also brings out the worst in him as a person, and out of some of his players. I don’t know if they really care about image and further implication except for winning, but there’s no great conspiracy against Real.
Rumors tell us this – After the draw with Real Madrid that saw red cards being wildly flung by the referee, it is said that Mourinho went berserk in the dressing room. He ordered his players to go out and tell the media that the referees are screwing them and everything is done against them on purpose. According to the leaks (or inventions), only Sergio Ramos and Pepe (not surprising) were willing to follow their manager’s orders. Mourinho, doing his usual ‘Angry Kid’ stunt, didn’t want to talk.
He didn’t talk to the media before the APOEL match as well, despite already going back to winning ways after an impressive 5-1 win over Real Sociedad. The desire to motivate his players by making them keep the act of being screwed over by everyone pushed carried on for another week. Maybe he didn’t want a 1-1 draw like in the CSKA match.
It’s funny that a manager with the most loaded team (or second most, doesn’t really matter) in Europe has to resort to such tactics. The minute that they showed weakness, that their winning streak was brought to a halt and that their 10 point gap suddenly turned into six, all the ugly traits came out. There’s no reason to be scared, to be paranoid. He has a great team, one Super player in Cristiano Ronaldo. Mourinho isn’t fooling anyone by playing a deprived child who isn’t getting his fair share. It just makes everything people say about him true.