Has Mourinho gone back to his old self?
Jose Mourinho seems to be back to his normal self. After returning to the Premier League, not as the Special One but the Happy One, he seemed to try to portray himself as a changed character that wouldn’t try to antagonise other characters within the game.
Over the past few weeks he even declined on the opportunity to pick on several managers, but last night the mask may have slipped a little with the issue of a challenge involving John Obi Mikel and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.
After the game he said that Arsenal moaning about challenges had become a tradition saying:
‘They like to cry, it’s a tradition.
‘Football is a game of contact, English football in the winter, with a watering of the pitch results in sliding tackles at speed – this is something you should be proud of.
‘If you get hurt, OK, you are hurt, you have pain. But I have pain every day and I come to work. The referee did well.’
Though Mourinho has probably ignited a feud with Arsene Wenger, his comments probably open a wider debate over whether people are too protective over tackling in the game.
The tackle caused some debate between Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on Sky Sports over whether Mikel should have been sent off for his challenge.
People say if you’re not in control of the challenge then you run the risk of being sent off so if you’re off the ground – whilst some will argue that trend of late to send players off for such challenges is the beginning of outlawing tackling from the game.
This may be something to keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.
The other factor could be are we going to a more physical approach from Chelsea where they try and get stuck into more challenges in order to upset the opposition, instead of going for a win in style, it will turn into a case of ‘get the result that’s required.’
Mourinho may continue with his old ways, and revert to type even after a short time of trying something which may have been outside of his comfort zone in order to get results.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald