Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed Special One, excites opinions in fans of all sports. This complicated character, one of the best football managers in the world, has continually made the news, either for his stupendous record for winning trophies or his smart, witty remarks on the game.
But now in his second spell as manager of Chelsea, the country appears to be falling out of love with Mourinho.
Gone are the pearls of wisdom from the Portuguese with the film star looks, replaced instead with scowls and attacks on officials, the press, pundits.
In short, he doesn’t know how to lose. And we as a nation don’t like that. Of course everyone wants to win. But it’s how you accept defeat that marks you out as a great competitor.
As Kipling said:
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same …”
With the Premier League champions continuing to struggle, Jose becomes more surly and defensive, accusing the world of being against him and his team.
How much better, both for his mood and his reputation, if he took the view that “you can’t win ‘em all” shrugged off the bad results with a smile and focused all his energies on rediscovering what made him special first time around.
As England football fans we have endured nearly 50 years of disappointments since winning the World Cup. We know how to lose; we almost expect it to happen.
The sooner Mr Mourinho shows a similar acceptance of defeat, the quicker he will return to our good books.