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Is Mourinho mad, Machiavellian or just playing mind games?

Analysis

Hardly a day passes without Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho opening his mouth, seemingly spurting out some form of cantankerous claptrap that might offend anyone from a well-respected football coach to probably his own psychologist.

I am told that Mourinho’s psychologist actually visits another psychologist before he can cope with even having a session with him. So is “The Special One” mad?

Chelsea manager Mourinho
Chelsea manager Mourinho – madman, Machiavellian or mentalist? AFP

The great surrealist painter Salvador Dali once said: “There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.”

So does the Chelsea manager know he is mad? If this is the case, then by Dali’s definition alone he is not mad, or is he?

As I am completely confused already, I will pass that debate over for now and look at the possibility that Mourinho is Machiavellian. In other words, does he use clever lies or tricks in order to achieve something?

Jose’s most recent outburst to date was last weekend (so that gives him ample time for another 75 before this article is printed), when he accused Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger of “being a specialist in failure”. So is that true?

Arsene Wenger (OBE) has won 11 major trophies at Arsenal alone. Alan Hansen described Wenger’s 2004 “invincibles” as “quite simply the most fluid devastating team the British Isles has seen”, and that therefore includes Manchester United’s treble winning outfit of 1999. Is that a definition of failure?

Mourinho, of course, was referring to Wenger’s most recent eight years in charge when there has been a trophy drought. However, does that really make him a “specialist”?

During that time the Gunners, on a limited budget, qualified for the Champions League without fail – 17 years in succession in all. This helped to fund their new stadium whilst continuing to develop a highly successful academy, producing the likes of Jack Wilshere, who is considered to be one of England’s most naturally gifted players.

Running a football club is also a business, and Arsenal are currently and have been for most of those eight years, the most profitable high profile football club in the world. Success is not gauged solely by trophies. After all, at Chelsea, managers get sacked even when they win a few. Benitez, Di Matteo and you guessed it, Mourinho, have all been shown the direction of the door shortly after winning trophies.

Wenger is still in charge, therefore to describe him as Mourinho did, was wholly inaccurate.

This leans towards the probability that Jose is Machiavellian.

On August 11, 2011, Mourinho “savagely” attacked Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova by poking him in the eye. That kind of assault can easily lead to blindness, and Vilanova has since been diagnosed with cancer.

Was that a random act of kindness? Could Mourinho be further described as malevolent? If he was, by definition having or showing a wish to do evil to others, it was certainly shown and is still shown to many on YouTube.

Mourinho has yet to be prosecuted. Maybe the Spanish equivalent of PC Plod (El Plodo de Classico), in the words of Arsene Wenger, “did not see the incident”, or maybe YouTube has yet to reach the Madrid constabulary.

Therefore a better terminology for Jose Mourinho could be “The Pokey One”.

In an instant, I have eliminated the “just playing mind games” analogy. That is unless the Chelsea manager was trying to reach Vilanova’s mind, via the complex route of gouginga out his eye socket.

So that leaves us with the Machiavellian argument, unless there is some substance additionally in the “mad” scenario. For that, consider Dali’s definition and the “Vilanovagate Affair” and send your thoughts to our sports editor.

In the meantime, perhaps “The Pokey One” is another one of the aforementioned letter M’s in the alliterated title of this article – a mason! I shall therefore be watching Mourinho’s hand shake with Martinez in Chelsea’s game against Everton this Saturday very closely indeed.

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