Jose Mourinho might have been a pilot if he hadn’t become the hugely successful, high-flying football manager that we have all (bar Chelseas fans) grown to loathe and detest.
When I say ‘pilot’ I don’t mean of the airline variety, no.
Jose would have excelled in agriculture or equine circles as he shovelled manure and ‘piled it’ over here and ‘piled it’ over there, in fact, piled sh*t just about everywhere.
It’s a dubious skill that he has displayed in abundance in the past few days, throwing the smelly stuff at Manchester City with his daily guttural utterances about anything and everything, desperately trying to undermine Manuel Pellegrini and provoke a tit-for-tat spat with the cool Chilean.
Not content with his ‘Little Horse’ analogy in the Premier League title race, Jose has branded Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger as a ‘specialist in failure’ and sought to pressure Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, claiming the Scousers have an advantage due to their lack of European competition involvement.
Just 12 days on since ‘Maureen’ managed to carve out a deserved 1-0 PL victory at the Etihad, he’s back to contest a 5th Round FA Cup clash with Pellegrini, a man for whom he displays a disproportionate malicious malevolence,
Why he feels the need to be so vitriolic and vile towards the statesman-like City boss, only the ‘Snearing One’ can fathom. Alas, he’s normally had the measure of his foe having won seven out of nine previous encounters in both La Liga and the PL.
A City side shorn of Aguero, Fernandinho and Nasri ran out of ideas on the night of February 3rd when they fired blanks for the first time in 62 PL home games, surrendering their 100% home after 11 consecutive wins.
Samir should make a welcome return after a seven-game absence, having recovered quicker than anticipated from the assault and battery by Newcastle’s despicable Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
The French playmaker has been sorely missed in this, his third and finest, season in sky blue. More tellingly though Aguero and Fernandinho will once again be missing, as they may well be against Barcelona on Tuesday night.
It’s a massive blow at such a crucial period. The return of Spanish defensive midfielder Javi Garcia is of small comfort, compared with the loss of his South American team mates.
Rumours abound that for some inexplicable reason ‘The Snide Sniper’ might be tempted to put out a mixture of first team regulars and squad players against City. Forever why?
Unlike City, Chelsea have the luxury of not playing a vital Champions League tie approximately 72 hours after this tie.
Can you imagine the stench coming out of Stamford Bridge if the situation had been reversed, and it was they who had to plan for a Euro blockbuster, and not City?
Jose would be belly-aching and ‘sinking’ there was a conspiracy to help City just as there is with FFP, as there was when Yaya Toure avoided a violent conduct charge and, as there has been all season long in giving City the benefit of every contentious decision.
Spherical objects to that little lot Jose!
The proverbial needle is stuck in Mourinho’s record, it’s a shame someone can’t administer a pin-prick to Jose’s gigantic gob and render his larynx lifeless.
How Manuel would love to shut Mourinho’s mahussive mouth up. His players were unexpectedly rested when gale force winds blew City’s midweek fixture with Sunderland off the schedule, but it doesn’t ease his selection dilemma ahead of the visit of Messi, Neymar, Iniesta etc.
This might be ‘old school’ and out of kilter with modern day football management but, is it really asking too much for a collection of professional footballers to give two 100% performances within the space of a few days?
I think not.
In the 1970s and 80’s you’d have a squad of maybe 15 players work their way through 70 odd games, often playing on mud heap pitches with heavy footballs, match after match after match.
Nowadays the pitches are horticultural works of art, the footballs lightweight and the players benefiting from sports science and bespoke diet and nutritional programmes.
Much is made about the ‘demands of the modern game’ and the speed at which it is played. Injuries are an omnipresent risk, but that aside, City just need to go easy on the training between Saturday and Tuesday evening.
As a season ticket holder of more years than I’d care to remember, I for one will despair if the likes of Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Yaya and Silva are ‘rested’ today with a view to the Champions League game.
Yes the CL is the ‘Holy Grail’ for Sheikh Mansour, Khaldoon, Ferran, Txiki and Manuel, but let’s not put all the eggs in the one basket.
If City take to the field with a centre back pairing of Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis, we may as well pack up and save all the fans travelling in the atrocious weather.
If the match goes ahead there’ll be a storm brewing from irate fans if City deliver a defensive display akin to the last FA Cup outing against Watford.
Pellegrini has already stated that he isn’t prepared to change City’s open and attacking style of play. Laudable sentiments indeed, but by the same token, he cannot risk having his midfield corps outnumbered and overrun as happened in the recent 1-0 reversal.
Demichelis was drafted in as a holding midfielder that night such was the list of City’s walking wounded with Milner, Garcia and Rodwell deemed either not fit or capable.
With a much vaunted 115 goals scored this season, Pellegrini’s philosophy of attack being City’s best form of defence, has been successful, but without Sergio it loses a massive dimension.
The Beast has done wonderfully well in his debut season, but seems still to be carrying the after effects of the shoulder injury sustained last month.
Dzeko will forever be an enigma to many City fans. Likeable and amiable his goals- to-games ratio of 17 scored in 33 games this season is impressive on paper. However, given the number of chances he squanders or the opportunities he fails to anticipate, it actually represents an inadequate return.
I’d love nothing more than to bask in the big Bosnian’s ongoing success at City but he needs to be prolific and not profligate if City are to pass acid tests in the absence of Aguero.
Chelsea could be without their preferred central defensive pairing of Terry and Cahill due to injuries. Edin has to capitalise and display courage and conviction, traits often dormant in his play.
Last season City lost out on the big prizes mainly due to player indifference towards a manager who had ostracized many of his key performers.
Pellegrini, unlike Mancini, seems to command the respect and admiration of his squad. It seems more likely that it will be injuries, if anything, that deny the club some, but not all, of the glittering prizes on offer.
Should the wheel come off the ‘quad bike’ today then City go to tricycle mode heading to Tuesday night. If City can emerge undefeated from the first leg with Barcelona – without Aguero and Fernandinho – I for one would have confidence that a full strength City can do the job at the Nou Camp.
But, in keeping with the ‘each game at a time’ mantra let’s hope Mourinho ends up eating what he could have been piling all these years later tonight.
By David Walker