Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lessons in Mourinho-speak

We all know Jose Mourinho from his grumpy, suit-wearing days on the Stamford Bridge sidelines, and now he's found himself a new and more stylish gig traipsing around the edge of the San Siro turf. I fear for him, as his move reminds me very much of the Simpsons episode where Homer, as the Isotopes mascot, gets called up to the big leagues and finds that the masses there simply aren't thrilled by his antics. [Watch out for the click-through in that link, disable those pop-ups!]

In Serie A, after all, everyone gesticulates wildly and causes press hysteria by way of arrogant comments and inflammatory remarks against the referee. In England, he was enough of a novelty to stand out against the pale pastiche of drab, jowly managers from the British Isles, replete with their evasive language and empty platitudes.

Nostalgia aside, he's taken over at Inter Milan, and he's looking to redefine himself as something other than "The Special One", the super-ego that sustained him through three-and-a-bit EPL campaigns.

However, I fail to believe that this new-found humility is really that genuine, so I thought I'd go to the trouble of decoding his words into the language that I know Mourinho still speaks [not English, of course. The clever bastard had to go and learn Italian in a month and greet the media flawlessly in their native tongue].

Join me, won't you?

[Question in Bold, Mourinho's comments in blockquote, my translation in italics]

Mr. Mourinho, you described yourself as 'special' when you became coach of Chelsea in 2004, and they called you 'The Special One'. What do you want to be called now?

I have arrived at a special club, and when a club is like this the coach becomes an extra person. I'm not forgetting that I'm a great coach, but I don't want to be special. José Mourinho hasn't changed. He's the same person with the same ambition, the same motivations, and with a great passion for football. He has always wanted to coach in Italy, possibly at a great club. Inter have given me the opportunity to work in a great footballing nation like Italy.

This is a very important challenge for me and I have to thank the managers present here, in particular Marco Branca, for choosing me. It will be fun for you too."

Let's face it, I'm still the same as I ever was. This move to Italy doesn't affect that. Special, gifted, genius, call it what you will. And honestly, I will have to be a genius to figure out what to do with a squad whose average age is roughly 32.

Do you think it will be necessary to change many elements of the current Inter squad?

"From what I have read in the press all over the world - not just in Italy and Portugal - it seems as if I have come to coach a team with a squad of 70 players. This isn't good. I want to work in a team of 20-21 players plus the goalkeepers. I think that every player in the world wants to play for Inter, and that every president wants to sell players to Inter.

I like the players in my squad and I don't need to make radical changes. For myself and the management, the team just needs due or three players to improve and be even more competitive. I want the chance to change things a bit because I don't know any coach who has the same ideas as another. But I didn't like what I read about me not liking some of the players in the squad, and that I want to buy all the best players in Europe. This is not true.

I have a clear message that I want to transmit to my players. From now on I want to talk about them as my players. I want to tell all of them that I like the squad and I have faith in them. I have seen a lot of Inter's matches during the season and I appreciated the team's mentality. It's hard for me to wait until mid-July to start."

Before you all start complaining, I will note that I'm bringing in probably 8 players from Chelsea, including that donkey Frank Lampard. Why, I do not know. We Italian teams are shit with the penalty kick. That's the only reason I can think of, but hey, it's enough, right? Eat shit and die, Roman!

Seriously though, I have lots of over-the-hill crap to sell. Roll up, roll up! How much for Hernan Crespo?

Your command of Italian has surprised us. Have you been studying Italian for long?

"I understand your question well. You want to know when Inter contacted me for the first time. I like telling the truth and the truth is that Inter contacted me for the first time the day after the second match against Liverpool, but nothing had been decided then. I hadn't started studying Italian then, only three weeks ago.

It's a neo-Latin language like Spanish and Portuguese, so it was easier. The articles and verb tenses are hard, but the words are similar. It's just a matter of practice and getting used to it, I don't think it will be hard to learn your language.

I have spoken with captain Zanetti on the phone. He has a long experience and he told me that just a few weeks of work are needed to best understand the language of a football team."

Look, you little pen-holding shits, I'm better than you. I learn languages quicker than you learned how to tie your shoes and use proper proofreading marks. In the time it took me to say that, I just learned how to proofread. All learning is easy to me. Swahili, Welsh, the language of the Masai Mara, Jedi, Tagalog... it does not concern me.

I am better than you, and I will always have more money than you. Plus I'm a phenomenal manager. Ancelotti is a useless cunt.

Do you think Italian football is the best in the world at the moment?

"Italian football is the most important and it keeps improving. I always say what I think and I can say that the Serie A isn't currently the best championship in the world. When you hear it said that the strongest teams want to improve, Inter want to improve too, and it is in this way that Serie A will return to the top levels.

This is a further motivation for me and I want to be an extra person because this isn't a job done by one person, but by many. I think this is an ambition and responsibility of everybody, including the press and the whole movement, the referees, the players, the coaches and the managers. I want to make my contribution.

Inter is a team that won the last championship well because it played good football for most of the season, apart from the last two or three months. They always presented themselves as a psychologically strong team and this helped them win the Scudetto."

What do you expect me to say, that it's shit? There's at least three leagues better than this one. I used to work in the best league in the world until I got fired. Now I come to a world of "catenaccio" and flip-flopping. Heck, why do you think we sold Arjen Robben? I was sick of his weak-legged plummeting! And now this place, the land of Gattusos and that cunt Materazzi... shit, he's on my team?

Fuck! Fuck to the highest heavens! We're a league that no-one cares about, and I'm its biggest star!?! Even working under Sven Goran-Eriksson would be a fate kinder than this! Shit fuck shit fuck shit shit shit!

Do you think your squad can win in your first season as coach of Inter?

"I think the results will come because it's the natural consequence of the work done. I always say that my players are the best in the world. I said it when I coached a small club, when I coached Porto, and when I coached Chelsea, and from now on the best players in the world are those of Inter. We can reach positive results by working together. I have won twelve trophies in the last six seasons and I think that I can win something important here too."

Let's be honest. I am talking absolute bullshit. Jose talks down to everyone because no-one can understand him. I coached Porto*, and hopped to Chelsea, taking a lot of players with me, and now I'll do the same here.

I think we can win because this is a terrible, terrible league. Genoa? You mean that place actually exists? Verona? Parma? Livorno? Siena? What kind of horseshit is this? I've never even heard of these teams before. How could I possibly lose?

Portugal is the same way -- you show up, you get good results against Sporting and Benfica, and the rest is shit. Sporting could barely beat Bolton. How much of an idiot do you have to be to fuck that one up? Jose is no idiot.

Inter Milan is the kind of team I dearly love: one that's full of money and established stars that require little tweaking. Sure, I'll steal some players from that dog Abramovich, but this team is ready to shit all over the AS Romas and Catanias of this league. They will bow to me like the deity I am.

If I can't win here, I might as well join the MLS.

* [Funnily enough, Porto just got banned from the Champions League for bribery that occurred during the year that Jose made them the best team around. Oops. We'll be covering this in more detail shortly.]


Eladio said...

I think what Jose was really saying was:

"Genoa? Verona? What, am I writing a Shakespearean comedy as well?"

And of course....BE CHAMPIONS!

Spectator said...

Football has really suffered for a lack of Jose's antics over these past few months. Too bad he's not coming back to the EPL.