Tag Archives: meltdown

Mourinho Meltdown?

For approaching two decades he’s been among the ego upper echelon of football managers, but Jose Mourinho has always backed up fanciful boasts with a steady haul of trophies, championships and personal accolades.

Nevertheless, some observers have questioned his recent judgement, and with good reason, as a clutch of seemingly petty incidents have snowballed into something potential unsettling.

In isolation an underwhelming summer transfer window, patchy pre-season and disappointing start to the 2015-16 Premier League campaign are not anything to get too steamy under the collar about. It is the Portuguese coach’s reaction to these that hasn’t gone down well in certain quarters.

 
The enemy within

Most concerning for many Chelsea supporters is the manner in which the self anointed “Special One” chastised his hitherto heralded medical chief Eva Carneiro, unfairly in the eyes of most onlookers, for tending to a stricken Eden Hazard during an opening day contest with Swansea City.

Her immediate intervention meant that The Blues, already a man down thanks to Thibaut Courtois’ dismissal early in the second half, were temporarily reduced to nine until the Belgian winger was allowed to return to the pitch.


Stamford Bridge Scapegoat

Jose had steam gushing from his lug-holes at the conclusion of the 2-2 draw with the Welsh side and, as he has so often in the past, he sought out a scapegoat.

Only this time it wasn’t the referee, opposing manager or shape of the balls; Mourinho, the manager emphatic in expressing public loyalty throughout his career, decided to throw his main medic under the bus (possibly the same one he’s accused opponents of parking in previous seasons.)

Carneiro was banished from the bench for the clash of the oil-funded juggernauts with Manchester City, but this failed to improve fortunes as the South London club were humiliated 3-0 by the team now favourites to dethrone them as England’s champions.


Terry out, (Stones in?)

During the match Captain John Terry was substituted for the first time in 177 league matches under Mourinho, cutting a gloomy figure on the visitors’ bench for the remainder of the contest.

Two competitive matches is evidently not enough to make an assessment on a manager whose battalion so recently cruised to their first league title in five years with the efficiency demanded from the top.

What is clear in this era of milk, honey, oil and embarrassing riches, is that those who stand still are soon surpassed by proactive peers. Gone are the days of bedding in skittish youth players until Christmas, certainly when it applies to those at the top of the pyramid.

Jose Mourinho

The modern game is a fickle one; yesterday’s apple of the eye is destined to become tomorrow’s decomposing core. One misplaced utterance or flicker of ill-fortune can be the trigger for itchy-fingered billionaires to direct their firing squad towards former icons.

As the strain grows on Mourinho, he will privately regret his own hair trigger tendencies which have resulted in a world-class medic contemplating her position, and a long-serving captain hardly able to conceal his disgruntlement.

The Special One is mortal after all it seems.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

5 Premier League Meltdowns.

Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea is seemingly already etched in footballing infamy, despite only occurring last month.

The tearful Liverpool club captain realised that the resultant 2-0 defeat had probably cost his side their first ever Premier League title, just when the winds of change appeared in their favour.

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool aren’t the first team to collapse in spectacular fashion though, here are five blasts from the past!

1. Newcastle United squander a 12-point lead (1995-96)

 

“I will love it if we beat them… Love it!”  Kevin Keegan wailed at the Sky TV cameras during his interview after a nervy 1-0 win for his Newcastle side against Leeds United.

KK’s vitriol was directed at mind game mischief maker, Alex Ferguson, boss of rival title challengers Manchester United, who had speculated that certain sides might take it easy against a popular Magpies side.

Despite leading the pack by a dozen points heading into the final third of the season, the Toon proceeded to capitulate, with heartbreaking last-gasp defeats to Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers leaving their dreams of a first major trophy for 27 years in tatters.

2. Manchester United flop as Arsenal hit the accelerator (1997-98)

Wenger Boys: 10 league wins on the spin denied Man United.
Wenger Boys: 10 league wins on the spin denied Man United.

Like Newcastle a couple of seasons earlier, the Red Devils held a 12 point lead over nearest rivals Arsenal, with some bookmakers deciding to pay out before the season had ended.

The Gooners had other ideas and proceeded to embark on a ten match winning streak that ultimately meant they won the championship with two games to spare.

It was Arsene Wenger’s first Premier League crown and the start of a bitter 16-year rivalry between the Frenchman and Ferguson, which only softened in the latter stages.

3.  Fergie’s mind games cause Benitez meltdown (2008-09)

 

Approaching the second half of the 2008-09 Premier League season, Rafa Benitez had Liverpool flying.

With an eight point cushion at the summit and virtually injury free squad, the Spaniard seemed to have turned the Reds into genuine title contenders for the first time in nearly 20 years.

As with Keegan in 1996, Ferguson decided to engage his rival in a spot of psychological warfare. Benitez took the bait and there was only ever going to be one winner.

Liverpool ended up securing their highest ever Premier League points haul (86) to secure the runners-up spot, but Manchester United managed 90 to win it.

4. Birmingham City hit the beach too early (2010-11)

League Cup Glory: But Brum eased off too soon.
League Cup Glory: But McLeish’s side plummeted thereafter.

For Blues fans the 2010-11 campaign appeared destined to go down as one of the most enjoyable in recent memory.

Having won the League Cup with a shock 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Wembley, the team sat a comfortable seven points above the relegation zone with only half a dozen games remaining.

Their mind’s evidently elsewhere, Alex McLeish’s side picked up just a single point from their run in, dropping into the bottom three with a final day 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.

5. Wolverhampton Wanderers appoint Terry Connor (2011-12)

One in, one out: Terry Connor was out of his depth as a manager.
One in, one out: Terry Connor was out of his depth as a manager.

Mick McCarthy’s five and a half year association with Wolves ended after 25 games of the 2011-12 Premier League season, with a disappointing yield of 21 points in those matches the catalyst for his termination.

Inexplicably, rather than appoint a tried and trusted relegation specialist to save the day, club CEO Jez Moxey opted to promote clipboard wielding lackey, Terry Connor.

The results were predictable, with zero wins and a pitiful four points from those conclusive 13 fixtures. Connor was mercifully placed back on cone duty by the start of the following summer.

There are plenty of other dishonourable mentions, feel free to add your two cents to the comment section below!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.