Words From the Wise: How to win friends and influence people

Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho seems to be burning bridges at an alarming rate.

By DAVID WISEMAN
December 21, 2005 09:21
3 minute read.
Words From the Wise: How to win friends and influence people

chelsea soccer 88. (photo credit: )

While English Premier League team Chelsea is winning many soccer matches you have to wonder how many friends its manager Jose Mourinho is winning. He seems to be burning his bridges at an alarming rate creating a trail of controversy and hullabaloo wherever he goes. Love him or hate him he galvanizes opinions with his debonair ways. Mourinho is a fascinating character. He combines a sharp football brain and good looks with unquenchable confidence and cockiness. His exotic Latin flair gives him an air of mystery and intrigue. He is unquestionably a showman and manipulates the media for his own means. Since he joined Chelsea he has taken it to a new level. At first the pundits thought his team of hired guns wouldn't gel and they would fall in a heap. After all this was a team that was a mess under the stewardship of Claudio Ranieri. Mourinho proved them wrong by weaving his magic to turn the Blues into a strong cohesive unit laden with confidence. When Chelsea defeated Liverpool 3-2 in the League Cup Final last season Mourinho was sent off during the game for allegedly inciting Liverpool fans. This is not the type of behavior you typically see from a manager. Last year's Champions League clash with Barcelona was turned into World War Three after Mourinho said referee Anders Frisk and Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard illegally chatted at halftime. Frisk received death threats and retired while UEFA referee's chief, Volker Ruth, labelled Mourinho an "enemy of football." This is part of the reason why next February's repeat clash between Chelsea and Barcelona is so eagerly anticipated. Then of course is the infamous spat between Mourinho and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger. The two have waged a war of words for some time now and there is no love lost between the two. Mourinho labelled Wenger a voyeur and claimed Chelsea had a 120-page dossier on Wenger. In the most recent match between the two teams, which took place on Sunday, Mourinho didn't shake Wenger's hand after the game. It is alleged the reason for this is that Wenger didn't acknowledge the Christmas card Mourinho had sent him. Mourinho is a character and the game needs characters and personalities but Mourinho is taking it too far. Chelsea is winning matches but this carnival sideshow is eventually going to drag Mourinho down. You can't fight City Hall but Mourinho is taking on the whole world. Currently he has tiffs raging with Arsenal, Wigan, Barcelona, Johan Cruyff, Sky TV, the FA, UEFA and now even FIFA. FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter has recently said that is it vital that clubs impose a limit on foreign players to stop the likes of Chelsea stockpiling all of the best players and in the process driving up the prices of the players. "Chelsea is the example of what should not happen," he said. Mourinho feels as though he needs arrogance to succeed but there are signs he is taking it too far. "I'm arrogant because it is necessary to be that way in the world of football," Mourinho recently said. "I don't like picking quarrels with people, but I'm not going to allow them to meddle with me. I want to mind my own business and other people should mind theirs... But if people step on you, then you have to step on them in return. You can't remain silent." Based on what has happened on the pitch, Mourinho deserves praise. He has had great success wherever he has gone and is somewhat of a trophy magnet bringing the Champions League and UEFA Cup trophies to Porto as well as two Portuguese league titles and a Portuguese Cup. In his time at Chelsea it has already added the English Premier League and the League Cup to the trophy cabinet. They usually say you judge a manager by the amount of hardware he amasses but this may not be the case in regard to Mourinho. dwisemanaway@hotmail.com


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