Jose Mourinho and seige mentality
Image via: Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr.
Jose Mourinho has always thrived off the 'us against the world' mentality. The self-proclaimed Special One has always had that mindset. During his two Chelsea stints, his time at Real Madrid and his work with FC Porto back in the early days, the Portuguese has constantly deflected blame off his players, always made it all about him, while building his club in their own little bubble.
He doesn't care what everyone else thinks, it's his way under whatever circumstance; that's what makes him who he is. At Manchester United, the dull and turgid football has continued. Let's be honest, Mourinho sides have never been the most aesthetically pleasing. One thing that had been lacking was the showmanship, that was until the Red Devils visited Turin. The visitors found themselves 1-0 down to a Cristiano Ronaldo wonder-strike. A fabulous Juan Mata free-kick and an own-goal turned things around to lead United to all three points. Up steps Mr Mourinho.
The 55-year-old was back. He cupped his ear, goading Juventus fans and players alike, following arguably United's best European victory in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. Oh what a moment, oh what a night. Some may say that it was distasteful from Mourinho, while others will absolutely love what he did as it was his way of getting back at the fans who had tormented him all game. One thing is for certain, it felt like United finally had a platform to kick on from. For the first time in a long while, the Old Trafford faithful had hope.
Fast-forward a few days to the all-Manchester affair at The Etihad, Manchester City put a beating on United, they were deserved winners. Let's be real, Pep Guardiola's men are years ahead of United, in fact, they're miles better than the rest of the Premier League. In Mourinho's post-match interview, I was expecting the same-old throwing players under the bus, while blaming anyone but himself. To his credit, he backed his players, he wouldn't blame them. Nobody expected United to win this game, but the manager is trying to make the changes the fans have all been crying out for.
The biggest disappointment has been that it took two years for the old Mourinho to show his true colours. Make no mistake about it, this is who he is, this is who he always was. My only explanation behind it is that, often, Mourinho's ways have tended to get him into trouble during the third season, maybe, just maybe, he's trying to change that, but I'd always urge him to stick with what he knows.
Perhaps, for Mourinho, there is still hope. He may well deliver the glory days back to the Theatre of Dreams, but he needs help. This is a man who is trying to better himself. Ironically, over the last year or so, he's the only one who seemingly cares about turning United back into a European powerhouse, yet he's the one who the fans are trying to force out. I get the feeling that he's not done yet, but he will need time, and backing.
As the great Sir Alex once said, 'your job now is to stand by your new manager!'. That saying never rings truer than it does this morning...