20. desember, 2005
Já, ég veit að þessi síða fjallar um Liverpool. Og já, ég veit að einhverjir eru pirraðir útaf umfjöllun okkar um Chelsea. En ég bara verð…
James Lawton skrifar stórkostlegan pistil í Independent í dag: Dear Jose, your desire for reflected glory has lost you a chance to illuminate game. Þessi pistill segir allt, sem mig langar að segja um Jose Mourinho.
Ólíkt mörgum Liverpool aðdáendum hef ég haft smá veikan blett fyrir Mourinho. Mér fannst hann sniðugur í tilsvörum og hrokinn hans gat virkað skemmtilegur á köflum. En þessi upphafs sjarmi er löngu farinn og Lawton lýsir í pistli sínum svo snilldarlega hvar Mourinho hefur misstigið sig. Allur pistillinn er skyldulesning, en ég ætla að draga út bestu punktana.
You have blown it, Jose; not in terms of column inches or television exposure or advertising spin-offs or security at the heart of your oil-rouble empire, but in the regard of all those who long for new messiahs of the game, men like Busby and Stein who gloried in their teams and their achievements and didn’t scramble in such unseemly fashion to be at the heart of the reflected glory.
You have jettisoned style for some chintzy version of celebrity for its own sake. Some woolly-minded observers say that your antics provide a valuable service to the team, that it deflects attention from them, allows them to go about their relentless work. Well, here’s a fact: I never saw a great football man, and this includes Ferguson and Wenger, who willingly tried to grab the attention from their players, not on occasion but as a matter of carefully calculated course.
Presumably you thought you were being smart, even masterful, storming off down the tunnel like that without offering a hand to the vanquished Wenger, and then hurling abuse at the Sky TV people for their “crime” of rerunning shots of Michael Essien’s disgusting tackle on Dietmar Hamann a few weeks ago.
You said that Barcelona, your next opponents in the Champions’ League, thanked Sky. Wrong, everybody who cares for the morality of football and who isn’t always bowled over by the bite of their analysis of their own flagship product, thanks them. They showed up the bruising cynicism that is growing at the heart of your all-conquering team: the £24m signing whose function is becoming increasingly apparent. Essien has talent, no doubt, but against the frail young things of Arsenal’s midfield his essential role was highlighted with gut-wrenching clarity. He was there to bully, and no doubt he should have been sent off for his fouls on Lauren and Robin van Persie.
og svo endar hann á þessari snilld, þar sem hann ber Chelsea saman við uppáhaldsliðin mín tvö:
You will probably hate this, but there is a model you shouldn’t ignore, and his name is Rafael Benitez.
Your scorn for his Liverpool is not so convincing. Admittedly you have a series of victories, but they have outsmarted you in Europe and please, as a matter of urgency, drop the fiction that they didn’t score against you in that European Cup semi-final at Anfield. The goal was awarded, it is on the record, and if it hadn’t been, Liverpool, the whole world could see, were due a penalty and the sending-off of your invaluable goalkeeper Peter Cech.
That’s the kind of reality you have to absorb if you are going to win the respect which your achievements are due. You may not know it, but Benitez is drawing a lot of neutral admiration. He isn’t backed by seamless millions, he doesn’t sneer at the rest of the football world, he doesn’t tell lies about referees, he just gets on with the job of building a football team.
There will be quite a bit of unpatriotic support for Barcelona, too, when you collide with them again in the Champions’ League.
This isn’t pure envy, Jose. It comes from the feeling that you bent the truth terribly when you last met Barcelona, and that victory came through a most cynical foul by Ricardo Carvalho on their goalkeeper. Your silence on that was noted by those who believe in the old truth that these things have a way of levelling out.
One last point: the Barcelona of Ronaldinho and young Lionel Messi play beautiful football. It has brilliance and charm. It can lay a hand on the hearts of the unattached. It is a sad truth that your current affect is one of repulsion.
Vá! Þessi grein er algjör skyldulesning.