Wednesday 18 July 2018

John Giles: Jose Mourinho is turning admirers into enemies by behaving like a clown

Read John Giles' exclusive column every week in The Herald

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho
John Giles

John Giles

What is really bugging José Mourinho? Why would an intelligent but unqualified man trample all over the reputation of a medical professional doing her job by telling the world that he knew best and that she knew nothing?

I certainly wouldn't want to be in his shoes if he needs sudden and critical medical attention at any time in the next few days. Maybe the medics will leave him to his own diagnosis.

When I saw the incident and the furore which erupted after it, my first thoughts were simple enough. Mourinho has no class and this was simply more evidence of his ability to turn admirers into enemies by behaving like a clown.

This time, he managed to alienate some of his staff and from what I can see, many Chelsea fans as well and for what?

The more I think about it, the more I believe that all is not well in the crucial relationship at Stamford Bridge. I suspect that Mourinho's employer, Roman Abramovich and not a well-qualified and well-respected medical team doing their job, might be at the heart of the matter.

There is an interesting comparison to be made here with Roberto Martinez, himself a trained physio.

Around Christmas last year, James McCarthy was struggling with injuries and Martinez sent him out to play in the busy holiday period against the advice of his physio team. This was a difference of opinion which was ultimately resolved by key men who worked for David Moyes leaving Everton.

To me, it looked like they had the high ground, especially when McCarthy's fitness turned out to be suspect.

Martinez downplayed the story and it died quickly. No shouting, no dramatic explosions on the touchline and certainly, no reason for Everton fans to look at their manager and wonder has he lost his mind?

Martinez had his medical training to fall back on and his opinion counted in a real way in the internal debate at Goodison.

Mourinho has no medical training that I know of and in the situation which unfolded with Eden Hazard, the medics were obligated by their own professional standards to go and treat him - never mind whether the referee called them on or not.

On this occasion, the Chelsea medical staff were called onto the pitch and that is the end of any debate about who was right and who was wrong.

Mourinho claimed his staff should understand the rhythm of football and make judgements accordingly but he is completely wrong. Football is irrelevant when some is lying prone. Any hesitation could, quite literally, be fatal.

At that moment in time, there was nobody more irrelevant than José Mourinho. He had no power at all and perhaps there lies the key to this story. I wonder is a he feeling insecure for some reason?

He has just signed a new four-year deal. He is the current title holder and he has achieved his ambition of being the top man in the Premier League. He should be in his pomp and yet there are hints that an old problem may be reasserting itself. Two things spring to mind; firstly Petr Cech and secondly, the transfer market.

Cech went above Mourinho's head to secure a release to go to Arsenal and Abramovich gave his blessing.

Mourinho stated publicly that this was against his wishes and yet Cech got the move he wanted. I'd call that interference.

It's easy to be sentimental and say that Cech deserved the move and some decency from Chelsea but Mourinho was thinking as many managers would. He would naturally shy away from handing rivals any advantage.

Mourinho is clearly unhappy that Abramovich is not providing the cash which would allow him to interfere in the transfer market in a meaningful way.

He has accused the Manchester clubs and Liverpool of trying to buy the title and apart from a bit of a punt on Falcao, Chelsea have been very quiet this summer.

These are not small matters. Chelsea started against Swansea with 10 of the same team which kicked off the 2014/2015 season and handed one of Europe's best goalkeepers to Arsenal knowing that Arsene Wenger has had a perennial problem finding someone to occupy the last line of defence.

Louis van Gaal is spending freely. So is Manuel Pellegrini and even Liverpool. Arsenal are still in the market and with a lot of idle money on their hands.

I can't swear to it but I'm beginning to believe that Mourinho now feels that the conditions he fought so hard to impose on Abramovich have slipped.

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