SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

Mourinho loses to Barcelona, becomes subject of much ridicule

Eric Abidal’s third career goal sees Mourinho viewed as a fraud

mourinho-criticism-clasico-

After backing Juventus to win the Champions League a few years ago then watching them flop in the group stage, Whiteboard scribbled a list on that shameful crumpled betting slip of football-related things that he would never do again, storing it in his wallet as an eternal reminder of his idiocy.

First thing down was – no shocks – don’t tip Italian teams in Europe, broken within months for the shrewd suggestion that AC Milan would dump out Manchester United. And in fairness, they only lost 7-2 on aggregate. Not that you’ll be mocking when Napoli lift the trophy in May…

Anyway, also on the not-to-do list were: question Rafael Benitez’s crumbling Liverpool empire (they don’t like that), query the sums Aston Villa have spent on mediocre players (it will all end well) or doubt the authenticity of Scott Duxbury’s Football Project at West Ham (he talks a good game).

And double-underlined for added effect was never sympathise with that Claudio Ranieri-baiting rascal Jose Mourinho.

The latter vow prompted great distress last night and this morning as the handsome, supremely talented and ever-so-slightly cocky millionaire copped a Pepe-list-of-Clasico-indiscretions-sized amount of stick off the crowd and Spanish media for the unforgivable crime of losing to Barcelona.

Without doubt, his recent record against Barcelona is poor, but then so is Manchester United’s. And AC Milan’s. Even Racing Santander’s. Well pretty much every club, coach and player besides maybe Hercules.

None of those though can claim to sit five points clear of the side widely accepted as the greatest of all time, above Il Grande Torino, Total Football Ajax, early 1980s Liverpool and even the Gretna team who stormed to the 2004-05 Scottish Division Three title.

That’s where Real Madrid find themselves in, odds-on to end the three-year domestic dominance of Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut. So shouldn’t they just suck up the cup loss and enjoy the view at the top of La Liga, a position that even most Madridistas only dreamt of in July?


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