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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Good, Bad and the Ugly!

The eccentric subject in question is the self proclaimed "Special One", Jose Mourinho. There are not many managers in world football at the moment who can lay claim to the kind of success that Mourinho has had over the past decade, and he probably is the most charismatic of them all. Some of the statistics are mind boggling to say the least. He has gone 145 home league games without defeat, dating back to his time at Porto.Also there has been no trophyless calendar year under his regime since 2002. So,there is no denying he is special and for some, he has already done enough to occupy his place in the pantheon of greats, and we leave that argument for another day.

Rewind to 23rd November, Match Day 5 of the UEFA Champions League, Venue: Amsterdam Arena, Occasion: Ajax V Real Madrid.

A clash of the two true European Giants, although the Ajax of today are nowhere close to their illustrious predecessors. The match turned out to be a walk in the park for Mourinho's men, with a 4-0 scoreline to show for their efforts.

But what caught my attention, though much later( I didn't watch the live match!), was a series of events in the closing stages of the match.

86 minutes on the clock and Xabi Alonso gets a strange red card; strange because of the circumstances and the manner in he which he earned it.Remember, Madrid are four goals to the good, and there was no point in deliberate time wasting. And minutes later, Sergio Ramos amazingly does a carbon copy of his team mate, which is when it becomes fairly obvious that Mourinho's ugly games are at play.

Alonso and Ramos were already on a single yellow card, and both get another one during the course of the match. Now, as things stood, if they were to earn one more yellow during Match day 6, they would have to sit out their last 16 match against what turned out to be Lyon. So, Mourinho passes on this piece of tactic onto them, and they get a deliberate second yellow each . Result: They sit out their inconsequential Match day 6, and they go into the last 16 with a clean slate.

While this is all within the rules, there has to be a line drawn somewhere for fair play. Mourinho, has to realise that this is not something that no one has thought of before, but just that they chose to play it fair.Platini, has to look to bring in something for this sort of foul play, rather than being unduly interested in the success/non-success of the English clubs, and how he can clip their wings.

This is not the first time we are seeing this from Mourinho, and it definitely won't be the last time either. While his success and audacity are well appreciated all over, these itsy bitsy things will not do him any good, and downfall will be that small bit sooner.

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