Saturday, January 13, 2007

Two-Minute Hate

Jose Mourinho tells Roman Abramovitch to sack him or give him the money he needs to do his job. I can't blame him; Mourinho is understandably pissed off. I've written here before about my mixed feelings toward Chelsea and Mourinho himself. I think Mourinho is very good at what he does; there are those who say anyone with that roster could carry a team to the top, but we need only look at Real Madrid's struggles in recent years to see that a team of superstars does not make for a sure thing. Chelsea fields some players I like a lot: Drogba, Cech, little Joe Cole and his fancy feet, and John Terry makes me blush and stammer and drop my schoolbooks all over the sidewalk. Sheva kind of freaks me out, but I like him, too, although I believe he should've remained in Milan and I never got the whole "my wife* wants our children to learn English so I have to quit my job" thing. (Here is Silvio Berlusconi's unreconstructed take on the whole affair, and I really hope I don't have to turn in my feminist credentials on account of cracking up when I read it.) They do have American schools all over the world, and I'm betting the Shevchenko family can afford the tuition. I worry that Shevchenko has ruined his career.

So, all that said, I nearly always root against Chelsea. It's like a reflex. I've taken an unseemly delight, considering my largely-neutral stance, in their struggles this season and I am especially pleased when they are held to a draw or scored upon by a lesser team. Above all, I dislike Chelsea's style of play, which to me epitomizes what I dislike about the Premiership in general--its emphasis on speed and strength, versus La Liga's (or Argentina's Primera Division's) looser, slower, more technical, methodical ballwork--and, of course, the flair, oh the flair above all. I've heard arguments about which league is "better" and that just seems silly to me--both are obviously world class and it really does just come down to the style of football you prefer.

Anyway, Mourinho's ultimatum forced me to face the inevitable: he will be leaving the Premiership, later if not sooner. And man, I'm going to miss him when he goes. That petulant, put-upon expression, the passive-aggressive declarations of persecution, the injured air that everyone is always picking on me, because I am The Special One--all best conveyed in one of my favorite-ever covers from When Saturday Comes. But hope springs eternal in the form of one of the best rumors I've heard in a long time--that Mourinho could be moving on to Real Madrid. This could be the answer to all my prayers: the team** and the manager I most love to hate in one convenient package.

*I base my opinion of Sheva's wife's intelligence entirely on what the guy behind the counter at the magazine store told me during the World Cup, when I was looking at an article about the two of them, and really, if you can't trust the guy behind the counter at the magazine store, who can you trust?

**except maybe for the German national team


Zach Dundas said...

Conveniently, the US national team still has only an "interim" coach.

Lynda said...

Oh, man. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the thought of that. It's probably just as well that a job with the US team would be far below Mourinho's dignity.

Anyway, looks like he's called Abramovitch's bluff...for now.

linda said...

I'm praying to the football gods for Mourinho to go to anywhere but Spain. His antics are amusing from a distance, but I like La Liga's coaching staff as it is right now - without the crap that's regularly spewed by managers in the Premiership.

(At least Capello is honest.)

Lynda said...

Linda--you know, you're probably right--I'm sure I'd find Mourinho much less amusing once he started accusing Barca and the rest of La Liga (Real Madried excepted, of course) of diving, cheating, etc. on a weekly basis.

Although Capello is starting to look a little underhanded himself with his treatment of Beckham. Not sure what's up with that. I used to kind of like him but I've gone off him lately.