This has not just been a bad start for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho, it’s been a seismic and valuable commendation for English football. Most fans have now departed from the preposterous “best league in the world” narrative that has been endlessly shoved by shameless pundits, commentators and rubbish red top columnists; this heavy handed Premier League illuminati who won’t stop until you and your friends tell each other back and forth that “this is the best league in the world!” and then tune in to watch Fellaini starting up front for Man United.
The new narrative we can proudly own is that of the most unpredictable league in the world, and it is one in which Mourinho is playing the unfortunate part of the hubristic king losing his marbles, spearhead of an army rendered complacent by the ease of their last campaign, Jose the Great.
After Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, Mourinho lost his cool in an uncharacteristically reckless way, as reported by the Guardian:
“The Everton manager was hosting a separate, customary briefing with national newspaper journalists on a concourse outside the media room, and away from the television cameras, when Mourinho approached en route to his press conference. He interrupted Martínez’s discussion to say: “Roberto, Roberto, next time tell me to go before you because we have to travel.”
His opposite number replied:“I don’t control that, José. I don’t control that.” To which an exasperated Mourinho shouted: “F*cking hell,” before walking off.”
An alarming outburst from a man who is clearly miles outside of his comfort zone, usually a charmingly cocky soufflé of a manager – one part gentle, teasing arrogance, one part dead-eyed cowboy composure – but who here served only a triple portion of imprudent arrogance: a man at the end of his tether.
According to the Guardian, after Mourinho left Martinez said “When he beat us 6-3 last season he was such a nice man. I prefer him like that.” At least one manager was suave at Goodison on Saturday.
Jose’s fall from grace is quite wonderfully marked by his post-match comments from last season’s Everton visit compared with this season’s. After the cartoonish 2014 victory, he said:
“I know they (Everton) are a good offensive side, but to concede three goals is too much. All of them I can clearly define the mistakes, the people involved and where we failed.
“I want to be different in that we play better football, score more goals, but I don’t want to be different in the sense that we concede goals”
After Saturday’s defeat, he remarked:
“We need to return to the way we were when we beat Everton 6-3 last season.”
A man who eleven months ago was quite clearly unhappy at conceding three goals in that extravagant triumph is now calling for his team to go back to the way they were. The continuity of conceding three goals at Everton two years in a row is beautifully counterbalanced by Mourinho’s u-turn, his complete loss of that linear, managerial sophistry that he has always seemed to be in complete control of. This is poetic football drama at its finest. This is the most unpredictable league in the world.
After telling the media that he had spent a solid 90 minutes working on his team’s defence last season, he joked:
“I should have stayed at home with my wife.”
Well Jose, after leaking twelve goals in five games perhaps it is time not just to stay home with your wife, but to find a nice little retirement cottage together in the south of France, decorate the lawn with eleven garden gnomes, and see if you can get more out of them than you have from your cherished boys in blue so far this year.