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Opinion: The Special Loser of Stamford Bridge

By Babs Ajayi

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – This is the story of an expert in failure, at least by the recent performance of the team he coaches. Six defeats in 11 games with 22 goals conceded against the English Premier League (EPL) opponents, Jose Mourinho’s team lacks cohesion, is devoid of spark, defends poorly and its midfield is disconnected from its lone striker, the striker who has not justified his inclusion in the team this season. Mourinho’s team has scored just 16 goals in 11 games and has struggled to find the back of the net. Chelsea is 15th on the table with a minus five goals difference. For a team with a manager who earns so much that is unacceptable and troubling. The team is not getting “big decisions” expected by the coach to come from referees. And because the big decisions are not coming his way, this coach has started to show his true colour as a sour loser, a cry-baby and a forlorn figure. He is now so desperate he sees everything wrong in crucial decisions by referees that did not go his way. If a team hard currency – in the billion of pounds sterling – assemble is pedestrian, except with the exception of the Brazilian Willian, you have to begin to question the ability of the coach and his choice of players for every match. If Chelsea fails to qualify for the Europa Cup (Champions League is almost out of it) this season, the blame should be laid at the feet of the big-mouthed coach.

The petulant nature of Mourinho, particularly when things are not going his way and he is not getting the big decisions, is one side of the man many did not know much about, but now, thanks to a poor run of performance and pedestrian team management ingeniously traceable to Mourinho, the man is nowadays well known around the world. He has become the butt of people’s joke and a source of fun for many online and the social media. He tramples on his players; insults match officials, and openly slight team staff with impunity. For how long will the Football Association allow this man to disrespect match officials before he is given a long suspension? It is obvious that Mourinho does not have what it takes to stay with a team on a long term; he prefers the mercenary approach of two-three years and moving on to the next team that will tolerate his unpopular dictatorial approach to team management.

But the truth is that a dictatorial approach can only work for last a few years. A coach who bully his players and talk down at them can never be successful on the long run, which is why Mourinho is not cut out for a long stay in a team. He must learn from Arsene Wenger – yes, Arsene Wenger! – about how to treat players with respect and make them feel there is dignity in the workplace and in labour. Virtually everyone in Arsenal’s invincible team have remained close and maintained a long-lasting relationship with Wenger, and many of them still visit the team regularly. The same cannot be said of Chelsea because the workplace at Chelsea is very toxic and many of the players are suffering in silence and moaning quietly to themselves. I am just wondering how long this run of losses will last. The end of a dictatorship is never pretty and it will not be long before the players at Chelsea revolt and demand for a change – even asking for a new head coach.

Mourinho is probably the most fined coach (Manager? I doubt that) in the Premier League for unguarded utterances, bad behaviour, and poor judgment. He was again given a one-match stadium ban and fined £40,000 by the Football Association this week. He was also fined £50,000 and received a one-match ban for his utterances at the October 3 loss to Southampton. He must stop speaking to referees and match officials, accept defeat like a man the very same way the teams Chelsea defeated last season to win the league honourably accepted defeat and moved on. Garth Crooks, a BBC football analyst recently declared that “…Jose Mourinho just doesn’t look special anymore.” But then the question is has he really ever been special except for the fact that he gave himself that name! Another BBC top football analyst, the highly respected Mark Lawrenson concluded that Mourinho has moved “from winner to whinger.” The Chelsea coach has become the special loser of Stamford Bridge and he should be gracious enough to come to terms with his not-so-special coaching skills.

By Babs Ajayi




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