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Jose Should Think Just A Bit More Before He Speaks

Digsy finds that Mourinho’s mind games aren’t quite as fun as they used to be.

Is anyone else sick of Jose Mourinhos’ rent-a-quote approach to big-match build up? The Chelsea chief’s “I am a Special One” confidence was a breath of fresh air when he first arrived in the Premiership, sent by the footballing Gods to break up Manchester United and Arsenal’s stranglehold on the Premiership. But now he’s descended into predictability, where you can guarantee the Portugeezer will try and stir things up even when he knows better and no matter the implications beyond football.

This time round he’s accusing Barcelona of diving, a transparent attempt to manufacture controversy and put pressure on Stefano Farina (the man in black for today’s Champions League clash at the Nou Camp) and maybe start a war of words with Frank Rijkaard.

It’s true there were a few dives in Barca’s 3-0 win over Recreativo Huelva this past weekend, but Chelsea are no angels either. Arjen Robben and Joe Cole have notoriously unstable centres of gravity, and then there’s Didier “Sometimes I dive, sometimes I stand up” Drogba.

Mourinho knows this, and he knows his ramblings won’t stop Leo Messi taking the occasional tumble, but it seems he can no longer approach a big game in terms of players, tactics and formations, he has to whip up a little tabloid storm to go with it.

By drawing attention to the diving Mourinho is hoping to pressurize referee Farina, hoping he’ll think twice every time a Barca player hits the deck. But Jose should be careful. The last time he started throwing accusations around the Nou Camp (completely unfounded accusations about Rijkaard spending half time in the referees dressing room) poor old Anders Frisk received death threats from Stamford Bridge regulars who take the game a little too seriously.

And that’s the big problem with Jose Mourinho’s mouth. While you can’t physically hurt anyone with a clever formation (unless there’s some lethal variation of 4-5-1 that would be dangerous in the wrong hands) Mourinho’s calculated comments are so inflammatory they have the potential to create real problems in the real world. It’s nice to think that football exists in a vacuum from the rest of the world, but there is a point where the mind games just aren’t fun anymore.