How to live your life like Jose Mourinho
What would happen if you applied Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's win-at-all-costs mentality to daily life? Ed Cumming suggests some life lessons from the Special One
God, I can't bear Chelsea. I hate their dodgy money, I hate their half-hooligan, half-glory-hunting fan base, I hate John Terry. But I love Jose Mourinho. Who couldn't?
Here is a man who takes win-at-all-costs gamesmanship to the nth degree. His "specialist in failure" line was a perfect wind-up, and might be etched on Arsène Wenger's headstone. He pouts, sulks, puts 10 men behind the ball, and generally does anything to place himself at the centre of attention. But he gets the results, dunnee?
Except he doesn't. Forget the Champions League, which is always a bit of a coin toss by that stage. Chelsea may have thumped Arsenal and stopped the insufferable Liverpool surge, but more than any other team they have thrown away the league with stupid results against bad teams. Losing to Sunderland, Villa and Palace. Drawing with West Brom and West Ham. Hardly the mark of a Special One.
Mourinho's Way, with its two buses (bendy or double-decker?) and Derren-Brown-style juju, turns out to be yet more proof of the truth that managers almost never matter. Fergie motivated them, Pulis organises them, Wenger had insider knowledge of some hot young French things in '98. But on the whole the team that pays the most in wages wins. Football clubs are basically sprinkler systems for hosepipes of cash.
Still, if you want to live Mourinho-style, who are we to stop you? Here are some easy ways you can apply Jose's Way to your day-to-day life.
At school or university
Never hand in your homework on time. If you can avoid doing it at all, do. Skip lessons to concentrate on your CV. Then in exam term, having fallen behind, make teachers give you extra tuition to "bring you up to speed."
In exams, attack the question. If you ever get an answer right in class, explain that it is due to your extraordinary capacity for factual recall and argument. Always insist on a remark.
Ask for a pay-rise every day. Tut and sigh when others suggest ideas, particularly if they are good. Take the boss out. Send anonymous emails detailing colleagues' mistakes, particularly if they didn't make them and doubly if you made them yourself.
Threaten to take even the smallest infringement "upstairs". Describe rivals as "pleasant but harmless" in communal areas.
Ask out loud whether promising youngsters are "quite firing on all cylinders." If someone asks you to work with a colleague on something, explain that you have no colleagues of sufficient quality.
In a restaurant
Always have a voucher. In fact, take two vouchers, and argue aggressively if the staff say they can't be used in tandem.
Order the food with the lowest markup. Eat at least half of your dish before claiming it is undercooked/overcooked/not what you ordered.
Ask for a different dish, repeat the process. Remove optional service charges. If at any point you are bored, complain to your partner that the standard of conversation is not what you expected and shrug.
In the pub
Never buy a round. Ever. Each week forget your wallet, be "waiting for payday" or simply refuse with a laconic shrug.
Your co-drinkers will hate you at the time, they'll talk about it beyond your back, but when it comes to Friday night, at least a few will still buy you a pint. Between new arrivals, rich friends and effusive drunks, you'll retain a steady source of lager.
Life in general
What is "parking the bus" in life? I expect some mild disagreement on this one, but I'd suggest it looks something like this: Eton, Oxford, Goldman Sachs. It might not be pretty, but boy does it get results. Everyone will think you are an a******, of course, but you'll be too busy installing your Sonos system and funding a friend's boutique babycare range or artisanal bakery.