Jose Mourinho brought biting words to match his sharp haircut.
Answering questions ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League group stage match against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Chelsea manager lamented his team’s “so bad” start to the Premier League season but bristled when asked about his “third season syndrome.”
[ PL PLAYBACK: Is Mourinho the man to rescue Chelsea? ]
The 52-year-old Portuguese manager has a reputation for eyebrow-raising third seasons at clubs, but surely much of it is manufactured. Mourinho did not have a third season at Porto or Inter Milan, while his third seasons at Real Madrid and his first stint at Chelsea included silverware.
His clubs did fail to defend their league titles at those stops, and his tenure ended. Whether that constitutes failure or a syndrome, form your own opinions. Mourinho doesn’t think so.
Here’s what he said when asked by the BBC’s Ben Smith:
“At Porto I didn’t have a third season. My third season at Inter I didn’t have,” he replies. “My third season at Chelsea in first time I won FA Cup and Carling Cup and I played Champions League semi. Third season in Madrid I won Super Cup, lost the Cup Final, and I went to Champions League semi. These are my third seasons so click Google instead of stupid questions.”
Ben tries to interject but Jose is having none of it. “I’m telling you the question is stupid because the third season is what I told you. The point is that the question is stupid.”
The testy Mourinho also answered that he remains both the Special One and the Happy One, self-glossed nicknames of the past. He rejects the notion that he’s in trouble, saying, “I am the champion of England, why should I be in trouble? Why?”
In a vacuum, Mourinho would be in trouble. Chelsea sits just outside the relegation zone after four games, with one of its three losses a lopsided decision against championship rivals Manchester City.
Yet unless the tempestuous manager resigns or does something explicitly evil, his job is likely safe.