Is there a more objectionable character –
or a worse loser – in charge of any sporting team around the world at the
moment than Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho?

After yet another first class display of whingeing, blame-deflection and
opponent-belittling at the weekend, Mourinho again showed why Chelsea are rapidly
becoming one of the most despised teams in world sport – with success that’s
been bought rather than earned and a manager who is graceless and oafish rather
than “the special one” he promoted himself to be.

A year ago, Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 over two legs in a European Cup semi-final, thanks to a
controversial Luis Garcia goal that may or may not have crossed the line.
Mourinho has not been able to move on from that incident: even this season he’s
repeatedly refused to recognise not just the legitimacy of that goal (check the
record books, Jose), but also Liverpool’s eventual triumph in Istanbul.

The two teams squared off again at the weekend, this time in a sudden-death FA
Cup semi-final. Liverpool dominated much of the match (with Harry Kewell
starring before worryingly appearing to damage his groin), scored two goals,
could have had several more, gave one back, then hung on to win 2-1, ending
Chelsea’s hopes of a League-Cup double.

What happened next was classic Mourinho. He blamed the referee. He maintained Chelsea were the
better team and should have won. He refused to even acknowledge that his own
widely-criticised tactical decisions might have contributed to the loss.

Then, to top it all off, he refused to shake hands after the game with
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, universally regarded as one of the most respectful
men in football. As I said, graceless and oafish.

There’s no question that Chelsea are a better team than Liverpool:
that’s what money can buy you. But it can’t buy you class. And
that’s one area where Liverpool and Rafa Benitiz have it all over Jose
no matter what the
Premiership table says.

Peter Fray

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