[This post is being updated during the Premier League season]
It is Chelsea’s fifth game of the Premiership season. The champions languish in the bottom half of the table, already with two narrow losses. After each loss, Jose claims his team to have been better than their victors.
Now, against Everton, [Saturday September 13th 2015] the evidence is clear to neutral observers. Everton outperformed and outscored their illustrious opponents. Stephen Naismith, an early substitute for Everton, scored three goals.
The charismatic reply
Jose Mourinho, often identified as the most charismatic of football managers, continues to defend himself and his team.One of several setbacks this season was reported in an earlier post It describes the on-going story of the treatment meted out to the medical staff for putting a player’s medical condition above the important matter of getting the player back into the defensive line.
This six minute interview after yesterday’s match is worth examination by students of charisma and charismatic leadership.
Jose is very aware of the implication of Chelsea’s poor start to the season. A month ago, it was widely predicted that Chelsea would be competing to retain their positionas champions of the Premiership with Manchester City. Now Chelsea is so far behind, even Jose admits it will in practice be unlikely his team will retain the no 1 position.
Why we have not lost to a better team
He also continues to assert that his team has never lost to a better team. Everton, the most recent ‘inferior’ team, won the points but not through a superior performance. How does he explain that? He outlines what is not the case. It is not the case of any weakness on his own part.
To reassure anyone who thinks otherwise he expands on why he remains the best manager in the premier league and the best for Chelsea. He also wants to make it clear Chelsea are the best team in the league.
He avoids questions about the club’s failed efforts to strengthen my acquiring defender John Stones. The Everton back was outstanding today, contributing to Chelsea’s loss.
From the start of the interview, Jose appears to be completely unconcerned about the result. He wants to show his unconcern. He would like to joke about Chelsea’s bad luck. But that could be misinterpreted.
I am laughing but on the inside
I am laughing but on the inside, he says. Everything goes against us. I have to smile, it is so ridiculous. So many people are happy at our problems. So enjoy.
The overall message is that losing is nothing to do with weaknesses in the team or in the manager. The one-time special one is right that a lot of criticism is coming his way. The broad consensus is that he is deluded or deceitful in his interview.
Other managers have more convincing explanations when their team loses.
We lost to a better team on the day
We have a lot of injuries at present
We have had a tough set of fixtures
My plan didn’t work
The players didn’t execute the plan
These confessions hint in varying degrees at managerial fallibility. The narcissistic side of Jose makes it difficult for him to suggest such possibilities.
I hope to follow more of Jose’s public utterances over the coming season.
September 20 2015
I have a suspicion that Jose is increasingly struggling to ‘win’ public appearances. It is difficult to be sure from edited clips. The greater part of press conference is about Jose. Is that so? Was it always the case? His tone is frequently not totally convincing.
He says he is not unhappy and looks as if he is not unhappy as he says it. But there are other signals that suggest it is a well-contrived bit of deception. He is unhappy when questions stray into off limit areas. For example before Everton when quizzed about his failure to obtain Stone. He is more regularly tetchy when before he might have been jocular and teasing.
In the game against Arsenal, yesterday there is a hugely controversial incident. The volatile Costa of Chelsea invites a challenge, Gabriel appears to retaliate. Gabriel gets red, Costa yellow. Arsenal are rattled and eventually lose a second man to another red card.
In one interview I note his unusual eye movements. Curiously his message was to place emphasis on the great importance he puts on John Terry, whom he has increasingly side lined. He also nominates Costa as man of the match. He seems to absorb or deny ambiguities as if they’re do not exist in his reality or in the reality of listeners.
In another piece of analysis, a BBC reporter considered Jose to have ‘stretched reality’ in the interview, particularly in Mourinho’s praise of Costa.
Compare this with the interview body language of today’s opposing manager. Arsene Wenger is interacting more as if in a discussion, taking in and offering information. Wenger presents himself as all too aware of the dilemmas and ambiguities of life.
Both are responding brilliantly in a foreign language, although I think that is an important aspect in evaluating the interviews.
Then there’s Jeremy Corbyn, whose approach at interview is also worth considering…
September 22 2015
Costa receives a three match ban for his deliberate foul play in the Arsenal game, the game in which Mourinho declared him man of the match
Another problem re-emerged.One of the unresolved issues of Mourinho’s difficult season was his reaction to the medical treatment being administered to a player considered to Mourinho needed to fight to save the game. His treatment of senior medical official Eva Carneiro has been severely criticized particularly as she was subsequently banned from the touch line, and her football competence challenged. Mourinho refused to accept he had been at fault.
Today the issue developed further as Carneiro announced she was not returning to Chelsea FC and was ‘considering her legal position’.
September 23 2015
FA receives video of Jose Mourinho as evidence that he did use sexist language against Eva Carneiro.
September 29 2015
Chelsea lose to Mourinho’s old club Porto in the European cup. After the weekend’s lackluster performance by his club against Newcastle, he describes this as much improved, and claims the loss down to two (defensive) moments of madness.
Costa is still out with a red card ban for Premier League matches, but was their best player in Europe.
Mourinho has continued to leave Terry out of his side, and Hazard was also benched. The manager says he has no problems with the performance except or those two moments of madness. He expects to win through from the group stage of the European cup.
October 2 2015
Remarkable and sad interview to Sky Sport by Jose after humiliating home defeat of Chelsea.
He only takes one question which invites his reactions. There is one long emotional seven minute answer in which Jose poured out his bitterness and resentment.
He begins by talking about referees fearing to give penalties to Chelsea In Premiership but also in Europe. He sees one such incident and the team, being in such a low position collapses. Not clear if he refers to being low psychologically or low in league position, although I took it mean psychologically.
Then he moves on disjointedly about being sacked but will never resign. Sack me if you will, but I am the best manager he says.
This is beyond normal behaviour. Sky commentator Jamie Rednapp without malice suggested Jose’s head was ‘full of broken biscuits’. Mourinho is at best in a highly emotional state.
Post analysis shows the incident to Falcao was a penalty although decision not helped by player diving excessively. also, at least two penalties should have been awarded to Southampton according to BBC Match of the Day pundits.
November 19 2015
The Jose Mourinho ‘Soap Opera’ is compelling viewing for football fans. BBC has put Chelsea match first in the running order of the Match Of The Day show. In contrast Manchester United , towards the top of the league has appeared only once.
To be continued