He slated his team following the shock defeat to Sevilla, but Manchester City should be wary of Real Madrid: There is nothing more dangerous than a Mourinho scorned...
Jose Mourinho is never shy in basking in his own personal glory, only this summer he hinted that he should now be known as the “only” rather than “special one” after becoming the first manager to win league titles in England, Italy and Spain.
However, the Portuguese has had to take a rather different stance lately, that of accepting the blame for an awful start to the campaign that has seen Real fall already eight points behind Barcelona and lose as many league games as they did all last season.
Or has he? Because for all that Mourinho has repeatedly talked of failing in his responsibility, many of his sound bites seem to lay the problem at the attitude of his players.
Speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Sevilla, he said, “At half-time I changed two but I wanted to change seven.
“My team worries me, not the disadvantage. It worries me because from the beginning of the season we have only played in the Super Cup and nowhere else. Not against Getafe and Sevilla, a little against Valencia and a very small bit against Granada. More than the points what worries me in this moment is that I don’t have a team.
“I have few committed and concentrated heads, of those who have football as the priority in their life. If we are not committed it is difficult and if we are not committed then it is my fault.”
My team worries me, not the disadvantage. It worries me because from the beginning of the season we have only played in the Super Cup
By the time he sat before the press once more yesterday his mood had eased enough to insist that the team that takes to the field this evening won’t be that drastically different to the one he has used so far this season, but he did repeat that last season’s record breaking campaign is now over and that his players must face “today and tomorrow, not yesterday” – ironic as it may seem coming from one who likes to talk of himself in historical terms.
However, in that sense tonight offers the perfect welcome relief for the Spanish champions. As Mourinho said there one good performance so far came against Barcelona at the Bernabeu at the end of last month when they showed all the intensity, aggression and skill of the side that swept everyone before them last season.
Everyone that is until they faced Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals. The Germans victory on penalties meant that Real’s quest for La Decima, their 10th European crown, will extend into its 11th year and hence the hunger the Mourinho claims that has been lost for domestic honours remains very much alive for the Champions League.
Such is the clamour to once again be European champions in Madrid that Real could relinquish their title to Barcelona by 20 plus points and there would barely be a whisper of complaint.
From the outside it may appear to be the best of times to face Real, in actual fact, Manchester City could find it the worst.
The long road to Wembley for a supremely talented but wounded team and their defiant manager starts this evening.
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