As if mandated by his contract, José Mourinho has vaulted himself into the headlines ahead of a big game, though given the vociferous way we consume all things Mourinho, the Chelsea boss’s big mouth is only half of this equation. We are talking about him, after all – reflexively writing up the seemingly trollish comments he produces at each glimpse of a microphone.
At this point, we know we shouldn’t take him too seriously, yet we keep listening. We keep reading. We keep clicking, tweeting, retweeting and sharing. We’re nauseatingly addicted to José Mourinho.
One day ahead of the Blues’ Monday match at Manchester City, Mourinho labeled the first place Citizens “fantastic” while also describing them as under-achievers. From the BBC:
“The team is fantastic, the squad is fantastic and normally they [should] win more titles.”
“In Europe they didn’t do well, or close to doing well,” added Mourinho. “Speaking objectively, they did very bad in the Champions League in previous seasons, also in the Europa League.
Mourinho went on to call Manchester City lucky, saying that recent disallowed goals by Liverpool, Newcastle, and Tottenham represent luck that is has not evened out. Again from the BBC:
“They are lucky,” he added. “The referees, they try to do their best and sometimes they make mistakes and normally during the season the mistakes are split between teams.
“In their case, they have everything in their favour.”
Point-by-point, there’s nothing controversial here. You can disagree that City should have won more with their talent, but the club obviously doesn’t. That’s why Roberto Mancini’s currently in Istanbul. The team didn’t do well in Europe under their former boss, but Manuel Pellegrini’s starting to change that. There’s isn’t much to debate.
As for luck, that’s where Mourinho gets a little trolly. Does luck even exist? And if so, does it even out? Even if it does, whose to say Manchester City has been more lucky than most? What Mourinho seems as calls that should have done the other way could merely be a series of coincidental controversies that say little about City’s ability to draw luck. Still, given the nebulous nature of luck, it’s hard to begrudge Mourinho’s opinion without also acknowledging “luck” is something that’s accepted by much of the sports-following public.
It’s the timing of the comments that’s the issue here. Of course Mourinho’s going to be asked about City before a match against the Citizens, but whereas most managers are able to say clear of gibes lie “lucky” or “[should] win more titles” in their pre-match press conferences, Mourinho seems to embrace them.
That’s not necessarily bad. At this point, though, it just seems kind of obligatory – part of a routine that’s getting old. It makes me wonder when we’ll finally reach a point of desensitization and cease this obsession with everything Mourinho.