Jose Mourinho was finally unveiled to his fan club, better known to you and I as the media, this week. Although he didn’t burst in and declare himself anything more than “happy” and “calm” there were signs that the Jose we all love (or loathe) was bubbling beneath the surface. It may have all been a little ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ for some, but this is still Mourinho, and even in tedium still managed to make it interesting for the 40,000 who streamed the presser through YouTube.
First question out was whether Mourinho was still ‘a special one’. This journalist should have been stripped of all media accreditation immediately and forced to listen to tapes of Alan Shearer interviewing Michael Owen. Boring is as boring does.
The journalists who brought Mourinho the cakes should really be with a manager more accustomed to such cringeworthy atrocities. They should be sent to the Loftus Road and treat Rosie to her daily walks.
The word ‘happy’ was used no less than TWENTY TWO times. Either Mourinho’s a) a changed man b) spent some free time with Adrian Mutu c) genuinely pleased to not have to watch Iker Casillas sulk week in and week out. 250 journalists crammed themselves into the press conference to fawn over every flash of a smile – even when he said he didn’t like this part of the job. (He doesn’t like it, he loves it).
The Quotes and Their Real Meanings:
On his breakup with Roman
“That was not true. Many people didn’t believe in that, but it was mutual agreement. At the time we thought it was best for both of us, me and the club.”
No one likes a breakup and everyone tells their mates it was the first truly mutual breakup in relationship history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac2Nq33SEx4
On a More Comfortable Position
“I didn’t choose for my career a comfortable position because I’m returning to a house where I was happy and successful and where the fans love me. No. I’m coming with exactly the opposite perspective. I have more responsibility because of that. The expectations are higher because people know what I can deliver. I want to give you that message.”
A long time supporter of rap, Mourinho knows you need your ‘crew’ on home turf just in case. Difficult to imagine Casillas or Sergio Ramos having his back in a break dance fight. So, Mourinho needed to reunite with ‘the family’ in order to face new challenges.
On his time in Spain
“If I have to choose a nickname for this period, I’d choose ‘the happy one’ because I’m very happy.”
Not a man who’s a fan of sangria or paella.
Stability and the Four Year Contract
“I hope to go the last day of that contract. If the club then wants me to stay, I’ll be more than happy.”
Get your bets in now on how long the marriage will last.
On Which Press Mourinho Likes Best*
“I can’t say which press I prefer, but you’re not the worst.”
Wanted to say: ‘I love you. I love my cake. The Spanish press can do one’
*Fishing for compliments is never a good look, especially when you’re meant to be journalists. You need to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.
On La Liga
“I was, in the last three years, playing in a two-horse race. Now I move to a league where you lose more times, lose more points, but the competition is open. It’s not just the two.”
Showing his competitive spirit. But mainly saying ‘Pffft. Spain. Overrated’.
“One of my good qualities – I have some bad ones – is that I don’t speak about a club when I leave it, and when I arrive at one I don’t like to comment on what happened before me. For me, not one word about Benitez’s decisions, either on John or another player.”
Although not saying anything about Rafa’s decisions, has clearly judged them to be p*ss poor and has decided to, ever so subtly, tell everyone.
Press still reeling from the revelation that Mourinho -might- have bad qualities.
On Iniesta’s claims that Mourinho Damaged Spanish Football
“I damaged Spanish football by being the manager that broke Barcelona dominance. They were dominant, and dominant, and dominant, and it looked like a dominance without an end. Real Madrid won a cup final against Barcelona, Real Madrid won the Super Cup against Barcelona, Real Madrid won in Barcelona, and Real Madrid won the championship, which is the historic championship of 100 points and 121 goals. I hurt them, I hurt them.”
On his Weaknesses
“If I speak of them, I have to say I’m trying to improve them. You don’t speak about weaknesses with your enemy, and my enemy will read the papers and watch television. We hide our weaknesses. Every player, manager has weaknesses. You have to try to hide them. So I’m not giving that chance for the enemy… with respect because, in sports, an enemy is not really an enemy. I know my weaknesses, not much… not many… but I try to improve and hide them.”
‘Let’s be honest, my real weakness is not having any weaknesses’
On Trophies that Matter
“The club is a Champions League winner. The club won the Premier League again after my time, won more FA Cups, I’m not sure about League Cups … but the club was in the top and getting trophies.”
Try and spot the trophy that doesn’t.
On His Opposition (not Iker Casillas)
“I’m still a bit disappointed to be back and going to Old Trafford and Sir Alex isn’t there. As a manager, I’m a bit disappointed. But David [Moyes] has experience and protection by the club to do his job and do it well. Arsène Wenger is there and I’m happy he is. And the three boys … not boys any more … Brendan [Rodgers], Steve [Clarke] and André [Villas-Boas], I’m more than happy not to play against them – Chelsea plays against Liverpool, Tottenham and West Brom, not me – but I’m more than happy to be in the same league as them and to wish them all the best.”
Disappointed his trip to Old Trafford this season will no longer be a nice red wine, but replaced with Buckfast.
Mourinho has yet to lose a match against Wenger, so no surprise that he’s happy to see his old friend still there.
And with the ‘boys’, it’s doubtful that at any point in his life was Steve Clarke a boy.