Improved results only half the battle for prideful Mourinho

carneiro mourinho

You would think that three consecutive wins (with 10 goals scored and onlyone conceded) would move the José Mourinho narrative in a positive direction; then again, that means you probably don’t know José Mourinho. For all the turmoil the cantankerous Portuguese had mustered last time we convened, afew wins have yet to abate the storm. If anything, Mourinho’s future at Stamford Bridge looks more grim than ever. The combined factors of Diego Costa’s wrath, the FA’s leniency to Gabriel Paulista, and Eva Carneiro finally leaving the club (and pursuing a legal claim for wrongful dismissal) reinforces what we already suspected – Mourinho has found his land war in Asia.

This is not going to end well for Mourinho. He acted petulantly in the Carneiro situation, punishing a highly-respected staff member for having the temerity to do her job. Perhaps if Mourinho had done better at his job, and Chelsea had been winning the match against Swansea City as expected, there would be no need to point fingers at medical staff. There’s no point speculating on the strength of the legal cases on either side, but it is hard to see an outcome here where Chelsea is able to save face, never mind avoid paying a hefty settlement. To make things worse, Mourinho is being separately investigated by the FA for a claim that he used abusive language towards Carneiro during the same incident. The especially damaging part for Mourinho is that all of this could’ve been avoided if he hadn’t acted like an ass.

Mourinho thrives on creating a siege mentality. This is not unique; Sir Alex Ferguson successfully employed the “us against the world” approach at Manchester United to help sustain his success for the better part of two decades. Previously, creating this culture of isolationism and near-paranoia has worked well for Mourinho – during his first stint at Chelsea, and as well during his two years of great success at Internazionale. More recently though, he seems to have lost sight of where the line is between being a lightning rod and being the actual lightning. His attempt to pull the same trick at Real Madrid eventually divided the dressing room, the board, and the fans, and the immense political fallout essentially made his job there untenable.

In this latest instance, Mourinho seems to have yet again overstepped the mark. It’s all well and good to point the finger at the conniving media or the hypocritical FA – players and fans will buy into that nonsense easily enough. But what happens when that accusing finger starts getting pointed in directions closer to home? Mourinho’s public humiliation of members of his own staff was nothing short of pathetic. Instead of galvanizing his troops, he has only succeeded in creating a wholly unnecessary shitstorm. Chelsea has already started the season looking less than impressive, and now, thanks to the antics of its manager, the club has to deal with the added distraction of a former high-profile employee dragging the club to court.

SEE MORE: Why everybody loves to hate Diego Costa.

Mourinho may like to pretend to not care what anyone thinks of him, but owner Roman Abramovich may not be on quite the same page. We already know that he cares very much about the style of soccer that his team plays, and even if he may have taken a hands off approach to certain unsavory incidents involving both his manager and club captain in the past, this new embarrassment may be a step too far.

For a different manager — or just a different man, really — this sorry situation could still be salvaged. A little humility, a show of contrition for the cameras, and an admission of poor judgment would go a long way in saving face for both Mourinho and his employers. But that isn’t Mourinho, is it? The Self-Proclaimed Special One doesn’t do apologies, and he certainly doesn’t do humility. As he’s shown before, Mourinho would sooner get himself fired than back down from a fight, no matter how ill-advised that particular fight may be.

We already know what’s coming. Mourinho will take the FA’s decision to rescind Gabriel’s red card and suspend Diego Costa as proof (not that he needed any more) of a conspiracy against him and his team. He will obviously and understandably be asked about the fallout from the Eva Carneiro situation — a mess of his own making, remember — and he will do what he always does. He will bristle and condescend and rage and fight to the bitter end. The difference is that, this time, he’s fighting a war that he can’t possibly win.

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