Media has never been a big fan of Chelsea FC in the Roman Abramovich era. While justifying his return to Chelsea and England, Jose Mourinho said that he was returning to the place he was loved. Even though on the surface everyone smiled and celebrated the return of one of the great managers of football,there was not an air of true delight anywhere, except in the Stamford Bridge. If some one is asked about the last reign of Mourinho at Chelsea, he would disagree with the fact was Jose was ‘loved’ in England. In fact, Chelsea often faced criticism and unnecessary hate from the media and rivals. Every loss was celebrated and every win belittled with the tag of ‘boring football’.
Upon return, Jose said that parting with Chelsea in 2007 was the right thing for the club at that time. Not many people believe that this reason is true. However, this reason seems the most practical among the others. Back in 2007, the media used to wait like wolves to pounce upon any opportunity to criticize the way club was run. Chelsea was often being targeted for rising player salaries and transfer prices. The polices and game style was considered anti-football. It is easy to see why Abramovich wanted to part with Mourinho and give the club a new identity.
So, the titles of ‘The Happy One’ or ‘The Loved One’ are just titles without any true significance. England never really loved Jose. They just didn’t attack him like the Italian or Spanish media did. The thing is, Jose can never be liked by everyone because that is his style. The philosophy of ‘us against the world’ is what Jose adopts to build a successful team. This is what drives his players to put in more than any of their opponents.
In such a short period, it is amazing to see how Mourinho has managed to portray Chelsea as an unnecessarily persecuted club. This does not help the club’s image, but works wonders in bringing the team together, much like the last Jose stint at Chelsea. By dropping Mata and promoting Oscar, Mourinho invited lot of criticism, which he is now using to give Oscar the confidence that come what may, Jose will always be there to support him.
This season, after every game that Chelsea lost, Mourinho said that his side deserved to win. Jose has preferred not to give complete credit to the opponent and has shown no regards to game stats. In some instances he has even said that he won’t complain about the refereeing because it will result in him getting banned. This methodology helps in enhancing the ‘persecuted’ status of the club. The players are made to feel that it was just because of bad luck or bad refereeing that they could not win. So even after dropping points, players are always confident and motivated.
After the Tottenham game, Graham Poll decided to write an very unnecessary and acerbic article on Fernando Torres. He claimed that Torres deserved to see a similar ban like Luis Suarez for ‘scratching Vertonghen’s nose and face’. A simple heated exchange on the field was portrayed as a sly plan by Mourinho to unsettle The Spurs. Such was Poll’s bias against Chelsea that he failed to see the fact that Torres never tripped Vertonghen or he never fouled Vertonghen while going for the header. On top of that, most of the readers agreed with what Graham Poll had to say, calling Chelsea the worst club ever. Thankfully, the FA thought otherwise by not banning Torres. This bias against Mourinho is there wherever he goes. It is a trademark of how Jose functions. One can only expect Torres and Jose to come closer after this incident.
At every press-conference, Jose gives the image that he is being targeted. At the same time he makes it clear who the boss is. Before the match against Steaua Bucharest, Jose walked out the interview after saying that ‘you always ask about the players who don’t play’, showing that the media is against him. After the game against Fulham, Jose took a dig at Jamie Redknapp saying that Jose is the manager of Chelsea and not Jamie Redknapp. This reinforced the fact that Jose is the boss and he makes the call irrespective of what the media thinks.
But should Chelsea fans be worried about it and ask for a change in style?
No fan wants to see his club being targeted like this. However, no manager or team becomes great by keeping everyone happy. If this is Jose’s style, then so be it. Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were also openly criticized and accused of favoritism. In case of Pep Guardiola and Barcelona, they didn’t have shortage of angry rivals. After the 2009 Champions League semi-final match against Chelsea, Guardiola said that he saw nothing wrong in the referee’s decisions. Even during all the criticism his players received for diving, Pep defended and justified his players without any conscience. These actions incense the rivals but help in bringing together the team.
For now, Chelsea fans should just stick together and take happiness from the success. Every club decision will be unfairly scrutinized. It becomes frustrating to defend the club, but the fans have to stand by whatever Jose does or says. The respect will come. It always does. If successful, all mistakes will be forgotten. Rivals and media will grudgingly accept the fact that Chelsea is indeed an important establishment in the footballing world, on and off the field.
Published on: Sportskeeda