Jose Mourinho’s gesture to the Juventus fans in midweek has been all the talk in Italy this weekend, and the Portuguese tactician has received support from his peers.
The Portuguese tactician was seen cupping his ear to the home faithful in Turin on Wednesday night, as he revealed after his side’s 2-1 win that it was in response to insults he had received throughout the game.
On one hand, it could be argued that he risked inciting the supporters and causing more problems, and so with that in mind, it could have been interpreted as being unprofessional.
Nevertheless, it was not an insult or a distasteful response either, and so many will feel that he is entitled to respond having had to put up with the abuse.
As noted in the comments below, Carlo Ancelotti, Luciano Spalletti and Gennaro Gattuso were all asked about the incident during their respective press conferences this weekend, and all three showed sympathy towards Mourinho and understood his reaction.
Ancelotti: “I understand what Mourinho did,” he is quoted as saying by Calciomercato. “It really isn’t easy to receive insults for over 90 minutes and just stay there and do nothing. The main issue here are the insults. This is a problem in Italy, it doesn’t only happen in Turin but all over. Fair play is important and I think everyone can learn from this”.
Spalletti: “It seems to me that Mourinho himself has said that he would not do it again and we all agree,” he told the media. “But there are emotional pressures that add up and the risk of a small reaction is there. It is part of the entertainment world. If you go to tease a lion…”
Gattuso: “I’ve done far worse, so I can hardly go around saying what Mourinho can or can’t do. We all get insulted, it’s really not nice,” he said, as per Football Italia.
Perhaps given that they’re all rivals of Juventus, it won’t go down particularly well with the Bianconeri fans, but ultimately it’s hard to disagree with the points that they make.
As noted by Ancelotti, it is an issue in Italy, just as it is around Europe, with players and coaches all having to put up with chants from the stands. On this occasion, it sounds as though many are not taking issue with Mourinho’s reaction.