The outlook is bleak and stormy, irrelevant of what daybreak brings upon the Spanish capital the outlook will remain bleak and stormy, for Real have lost 1-0 to lowly Osasuna and now find themselves seven points adrift of Barcelona.
The airwaves, papers and fans will once again be busying apportioning blame, Mourinho for his part will continue to trumpet his line of ‘its not my fault’ and ‘I told you this would happen’ as he redirects the heat from himself to the clubs owners or more specifically Jorge Valdano the ‘mouth piece’ of Florentino Perez.
But what is the truth.
Honestly, Mourinho is at fault, or more specific Jose's Mourinho’s ego is at fault. For too long particularly upon British shores the Portuguese tactician has enjoyed a rosey eyed façade. The British press pay him unabated devotion believing that all who sail with Jose does so to glory.
Jose Mourinho arrived in Spain with the reputation that he knew the way to topple Barcelona he was the missing piece that would take the unfortunate Pellegrinis record breaking side that one step further. However there was one flaw to this master plan, Mourinho didn’t hold the key to derailing Barcelona, that notion was a mere myth that overlooked facts such as- Mourinho had never won at the Camp Nou, his ‘masterstroke’ of Inter's triumph actually equated to 1 win, 2 defeats and a 'park the bus' draw at the hands of the Catalans. The single victory coming on the back of Barcelona’s forced coach trip through Europe, for the hierarchy at Madrid investing 200 million in ash cloud development would have been a more logical step to halt Barcelona.
Perez though bought into the hype and Mourinho arrived at the Bernabeu as some sort of saviour, backed in the transfer market Jose acquired his lieutenant Carvalho, the German revelations Ozil, and Khedira, the Argentine Angel di Maria, and Spaniards, Albiol, Canales and Pedro Leon amongst others. He was also shown incredible support by the clubs owners with the shipping out of Guti and the clubs emblem Raul.
The early stages of the season saw Madrid splutter to victory, Mourinho's football proving effective if not entertaining, he answered his critics by announcing that the goals would come in time and true enough they did. However the fixture calendar had been very kind to Real and heavy wins over the lesser clubs didn’t hold significance to those who followed La Liga closely. The casual fan may have joined the Mourinho love-in as Madrid set the early pace but November brought their first test and also their biggest – Barcelona.
The Clasico, Barcelona away, this was the fixture that Madrid had invested in Mourinho for, this was his calling, the following morning Madrid was bleak and stormy for Barcelona had humiliated Real 5-0. Jose's team had not only be beaten they had been left chasing shadows, they had abandoned football and resorted to kicking Barcelona, Mourinho’s Madrid, had failed.
In the aftermath Mourinho set out damage limitation, citing Barcelona’s time together as a team, the season not being about one game and his 2nd season ability, there was no second season for Pellegrini so should Perez exude different perimeters for the 'Special one'? On the surface Mourinho remained bullish but beneath the exterior the reality of surpassing Barcelona had clearly hit home and pointing to his second season pedigree was as significant as waving a white flag. His press conferences became ever more defensive as he utilised them as a platform for apportioning blame to anyone other than himself for Real’s short coming. In the context of points, the humbling by Barcelona didn’t change too much, for all the Catalans superiority the 5-0 represented just a 2 point gap and a home victory for Madrid in the return Clasico would be enough for Madrid to take the La Liga crown.
The following fixtures saw Madrid return to winning ways, but when Gonzalo Higuain required surgery following a re-evaluation of a long standing injury, the added pressure of losing Madrid’s unsung talisman of the previous 3 seasons sent Jose into overdrive. He now publicly berated his employers for the lack of a new number 9, a position Mourinho had wanted to address in the summer, his employers responded by saying you are the coach, coach. Pointing out to Mourinho that he had been supported in transfers during the summer and no money would be spent in January and it is his job to utilise the players he does have – Karim Benzema for example. As the goals dried up and Barcelona became ever more the ‘Harlem Globetrotters’ of football the argument between Mourinho and Valdano became ever more vocal.
Which leads us back to Jose or Jorge?
In truth Mourinho’s ego got the better of him, he believed that he could mastermind the overthrow of Barcelona but when it came to pass the Catalans humbled him, for a guy who prides himself on being the 'Special one' there can now only be one ending. The points dropped in the last 2 weeks extinguished the last ember of hope that a one off cup final victory at the Bernabeu would tip the league back in the hands of Real and restore Mourinho’s reputation. Barring a catastrophic collapse by the Catalans the 'Special one' if he finishes the season will do so in 2nd place which as Pellegrini and schuster found out is a failure. From now till the end he will continue to point fingers at Valdano, referees, Benzema, and transfer policies while forever omitting himself from recrimination. The smoke and mirrors will hopefully hold his value in England and if he keeps making eyes to those shore's another club will soon buy into the premise that Mourinho ‘wins’ wherever he goes.
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