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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February 2005, 15:35 GMT
The end of Mourinho's honeymoon?
By Saj Chowdhury

Jose Mourinho

If there was an Oscar for 'Best Soundbites in Football' at this year's ceremony, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would have been odds-on to land the award.

This is the man who said upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge last June: "Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one."

He instantly became the darling of the back-page media.

Here was a man from the Continent, a prodigy of wordsmith legend Sir Bobby Robson, someone not afraid to speak his mind - dare we say a new Brian Clough.

Fast forward to Monday 28 February 2005, and the permatanned 42-year-old may face an FA charge following an incident at Sunday's Carling Cup final that saw him sent from the touchline by an official.

Whether his finger-hushing gesture was aimed at the Liverpool fans or, as he says, the media, it now appears that the back-page press see Mourinho in a different light.

  • The Sun: Jose should leave the spotlight to his team
  • Daily Mirror: They Won It...He Lost It
  • Daily Mail: Jose's first trophy...but all he wants to do is fight

    The English media got one of their first tastes of Mourinho ranting after Chelsea's goalless draw against Tottenham in September.

    "As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal," he said of Spurs' defending.

    In the same month, he also criticised referee Rob Styles for not giving a penalty in their match against Aston Villa, which again they drew.

    The Chelsea boss has also proved he is not afraid of playing the 'mind games', made so famous by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.

    His latest effort attacked Wenger's recent squad selection which did not feature a single British player.

    "I believe in home players," said Mourinho.

    "Especially as a foreign manager, I feel responsible for the English national team and English players."

    Ironically those comments, that further endeared him to the national press, came just a week before the fallout from the Carling Cup final.

    Jose Mourinho
    ...the title race: "Maybe we can win it one or two weeks before the end of the season
    ... his arrival at Chelsea: "There were some big clubs chasing me very hard"
    ... Arsenal: "They always seem to have two or three days' rest to recover"
    ... the press: "They try to do everything to disturb Chelsea"

    But the way Mourinho is perceived in the remaining months of the season may not come as a result of a lovers' tiff with media, but as a result of actions taken that conflict with football's code of ethics.

    The Blues boss has already been charged with improper conduct by the FA following comments after their Carling Cup semi-final, when he suggested Manchester United boss Ferguson put "some pressure on the referee" at half-time.

    The Premier League then launched an inquiry following a newspaper report of a meeting between Mourinho, chief executive Peter Kenyon and Arsenal's Ashley Cole.

    And only last week, the Chelsea manager accused Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard of entering referee Anders Frisk's room at half-time during their Champions League semi-final encounter.

    Mourinho and his players then refused to attend a regulation news conference after the game, an absence that now has to be explained to governing body Uefa.

    The Carling Cup final antics, where he also appeared to exchange obscenities with Liverpool's Jamie Carragher, guaranteed again that he would steal the headlines on Monday for the wrong reasons.

    What seems to have been swept aside by the gust of anti-Mourinho feeling is the fact he has won his first trophy at Chelsea and looks in a good position to win at least one more.

    He has also breathed new life into the football hacks who would have undoubtedly been relying on more 'Wenger v Ferguson' feuds had the former Porto chief not arrived on these shores.

    Many can see that Mourinho is very good manager and master of soundbites, he just has to be careful that he establishes a reputation for that rather than as a troublemaker.

    Mourinho blasts press after win
    27 Feb 05 |  League Cup
    Mourinho upbeat despite Cup exit
    21 Feb 05 |  Chelsea
    Mourinho targets early title win
    13 Nov 04 |  Chelsea
    Mourinho takes swipe at Arsenal
    29 Dec 04 |  Chelsea
    Mourinho branded a moaner
    21 Sep 04 |  Chelsea
    Chelsea appoint Mourinho
    02 Jun 04 |  Chelsea

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