Jose Mourinho's top 10 scapegoats - including John Terry and Eva Carneiro
Published 17/08/2015 | 10:31
The thing to remember with Jose Mourinho is that if his team doesn't win, it was someone else's fault.
The brilliant Portuguese deserves his place in the hall of fame as one of the greatest managers of all time; diverting attention away from any under-performances with the sleight of hand and skill of a master magician one of his more devious and entertaining traits.
But how does he do this? Let us show you with 10 of Jose's very best and most common excuses for when his team doesn't win a game.
1. John Terry
Chelsea were unusually vulnerable in the second Premier League game of the 2015/16 season, being pummelled by Manchester City from the start and eventually losing 3-0. Cesc Fabregas was singled out for particular criticism for failing to perform the defensive duties necessary in a holding midfield role, but it was John Terry who paid with his place.
Chelsea's captain was substituted at half time for Kurt Zouma, the first time Mourinho has ever taken Terry off.
Mourinho bristled when asked about the change, saying “I am the one who plays him every game, and recovered him in difficult moments with others managers.
I am the one who has the right to look at the game and say I want Zouma on the pitch. When I am losing 1-0 and trying to anticipate what I am going to do it is clear to me Zouma is going to play and I have to bring one out. I take off my captain but he still my captain and the armband is just an armband." Sure.
2. The doctor
A new season, a new scapegoat. Chelsea's weak performance in their surprise draw with Swansea last weekend was hidden beneath a screen of smoke created by Mourinho when he strongly criticised Eva Carneiro's desire to attend to an injured player, as is one of the central duties in her role as doctor.
“My medical department left me with eight fit outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn't have enough players left," said Mourinho.
3. The floodlights
In a difficult win over QPR in October 2014, Mourinho blamed the floodlights not being switched on early enough as one of the main reasons his team took so long to score: "I think the man responsible for the lights was in the same mood as the crowd, beacuse everybody was sleeping. He took 20 minutes to understand that it was dark."
4. The fans
Mourinho moaned when "only 300" Real Madrid fans made the journey for a match in Rayo Vallecano and was heavily critical of the Bernabeu home crowd. Diverting attention away from his players and creating another talking point out of thin air, after a 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund in 2012 he said, "If, like me you have been here for two and a half years, you are used to the cold atmosphere here".
Real Madrid fans aren't alone either - following a tough fought 2-1 victory over QPR last October, Mourinho told talkSPORT, "At this moment it's difficult for us to play at home though, because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium. I was today looking around and it was empty, but not in terms of people because it was obviously full. That's what is frustrating."
5. The board
Throughout Mourinho's career he has had digs at boardroom members who have failed to sign players he alleges to have requested. At the end of Mourinho's first season at Chelsea he hit out at the club for their unwillingness to buy a striker - despite winning the Premier League - using an egg and omelette analogy to express his displeasure.
"It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem."
Just as he wants a leftback this season, Mourinho also once accused his former employers Real Madrid of leaving him short upfront, despite Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain all being available: "At Madrid I wanted another striker, Higuain and Benzema are not enough."
6. The media (and other unseen forces)
In January 2014, Mourinho was fined £25,000 for claiming in December that there was an orchestrated campaign aimed at destabilising Chelsea. Continuing on that theme, Mourinho made a surprise appearance on Goals on Sunday in February to complain about Ashley Barnes of Burnley, referees and the media yet again.
Far from the cryptic interviews Mourinho gave directly after the shock 1-1 draw with Burnley, he attacked his hosts Sky for describing Diego Costa's disciplinary problems as "crimes" and for failing to apologise for highlighting the striker's stamp on Emre Can which earned Costa a three-match ban."
7. The pitch
Real Madrid had a slow start to the 2010/11 La Liga season and began to receive criticism for their lack of cohesion and negative tactics. After a 3-0 win over Espanyol a diversion explanation was offered: "The play was not good but I'm satisfied. The team was tired, we were up against a rival with nothing to lose and we were playing on a potato field."
Real quickly had the Bernabeu playing surface replaced.
8. The fixture list
After defeat by Real Betis in November, 2012, Mourinho claimed the unfair fixture list favoured certain clubs more than his, and that the entire schedule was under the control of "others".
"It's obvious that other teams are controlling the calendar. They are laughing behind my back," said Jose despite both Real and Barca having had fixtures moved to allow rest after big European games over the same season. Does any of this sound familiar to you, too?
A 0-0 draw with Spurs at Stamford Bridge in 2004 prompted Mourinho to say "Tottenham might as well have put the team bus in front of their goal. Sometimes when you area big club, a very small club comes to your stadium. Tottenham got a point they shouldn't. We wanted to play," and this has become something of a go-to put down by the Special One if his team don't outscore the opposition.
Sam Allardyce's delight at having "out tactic-ed" Mourinho (still not recognised as a real word) was as a direct result of Mourinho shielding his players from blame for failing to break down a dogged West Ham, who were said to employ "19th century football".
"This is not Premier League, this is not the best league in the world. The only thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall. A football match is about two teams playing and this match was only one team playing and another team not playing."
10. The referees
Jose Mourinho's very first port of call when deflecting attention away from a poor performance has generally been to launch attacks on referees as he has done regularly throughout his career. The 2014/15 season was peak Mourinho vs referees with constant references to Eden Hazard requiring protection and that bizarre decision to venture on Goals on Sunday to demand change:
“I can only remember one decision all season which went in our favour. Now I am risking my dugout in the (Capital One Cup) final because I am having this conversation.
“I speak about these incidents week after week, because they happen week after week. My players are not getting the respect they deserve and it is too much.”
To look back through Jose Mourino's post-match press conferences is to read a never ending script of thinly veiled criticisms of referees. "I heard [some players] say it was impossible to win here," said Mourinho after his Real Madrid side lost 4-3 on aggregate to Barcelona in January 2012. He knows what he's doing.