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armchair centreback :: an argument for jose mourinho being the antichrist

you have to admit, he looks evil.
in the spirit of christmas and following a day of enjoying the annual boxing day glut of premier league action, i think it's time to call everyone's attention to the fact that chelsea is currently being managed by the prince of darkness.

i know that you might normally think that it's a little ridiculous to think that, if the scion of evil was among us, he'd be working at all, let alone attacking us through the world of sport, but hear me out. sure, it sounds more reasonable that the great satan would be a banker or a political leader, perhaps some sort of terrorist revolutionary or, if he were obvious, a religious figure. but the thing is, people think about what those guys do. people may analyse the professional choices and performance of sports figures, but they don't really pay attention to any underlying message they may be conveying, like gutting humanity of all hope, destroying the concept of a just universe, and pissing on the concept of good will.

sour grapes you say? well of course it bloody well is. chelsea have beaten everyone and everything so far this epl season and it seems possible that they might end up cruising to victory in the premier league and the champions league, but that doesn't mean i'm wrong. let's look at the evidence.

a year and a half ago, mourinho was at a low point. he left real madrid, probably the highest profile club in the world right now, by "mutual consent", which is employment speak for "if you agree to go quietly and take this bag of money, we won't say that we fired you". at a press conference, he mentioned the possibility of returning to the premier league by saying that he knew he was liked by england teams, "one in particular", a clear reference to his glory days with chelsea. a few days later, chelsea manager rafael benitez was unceremoniously fired, just a few weeks before the premier league season.

all pride, no fall
it's also worth noting that chelsea owner roman abramovitch, who is the sort of power-crazy psychotic who fires managers for showing up in the wrong colour shirt [or for having a bit of a rough run after bringing home the coveted champions' league trophy], is completely cowed by mourinho. he just lets him do whatever he wants, which is fine if what he's doing is winning, but last year he didn't win anything and still got to spend all the money he wanted over the summer.

that brings us to the topic of money. many managers believe in acquiring talented players when they're young, cultivating them and helping them find their form within a team. mourinho believes in buying guys who are already at the top of their game and that's now become the norm. chelsea greatly expanded the amount that they were spending on players after last year. now their winning. it's not about watching someone grow into greatness, it's about winning everything right now, because that benefits the manager. think of the horrid lesson that teaches children who are into the game. rather than being evaluated for their actions over a long period of time, everyone should be judged by what they did in the last few weeks.

it's also worth remembering that it was mourinho's chelsea that ultimately denied surprise contenders liverpool the premier league title last year, something the chelsea manager celebrating by pumping his fist up and roaring, despite the fact that it made absolutely no difference to his own team's placement. it did however pretty much ensure that the title went to the highest spending team in professional sport, manchester city, so i'm guessing that the fist-pumping was about mourinho's happiness at restoring misery and injustice to the world.

evil triumphs, bitches.




which leads us to the great comparison. arsenal manager arsène wenger has been at his job for nearly twenty years. he is firmly committed to the concept of team-building and working with younger players to help them shine. he has a reputation for it, most notably with superstar and recent retiree thierry henry. often criticized for being overly parsimonious when it comes to buying players, he is very much about the long term. plus, everything you see from the arsenal team show them not just working together, but having fun together. their social media accounts are popular [more followers than any other team on twitter] because they make the content entertaining, as if they remember that it's a game- it's supposed to be enjoyable, even at the highest level.


no small wonder, then, that mourinho hates wenger with a passion. in an arena where one is just supposed to be polite and deferential, mourinho [who, to be fair, doesn't exactly ooze humility at any time] takes pot shots at wenger at every opportunity, calling him a "specialist at failure", baiting him at every opportunity, even going so far at their one meeting this year to provoke a physical confrontation.

you can't just shove satan out of the way

he's like the bad guy in an eighties teen movie grown up and rolling in piles of money. except...

mourinho wins every time. arsène's reputation has suffered in recent years anyway, but when it comes to direct clashes between the two, the guy who believes in taunting, insulting and solving his problems with money always trumps the guy who shows loyalty, patience, friendliness and basically all the qualities that we like to think of as positive. doesn't make for the greatest argument about the importance of character and morals now, does it?

stare deep into his absence of a soul
i'd really love for wenger's team spirit-oriented, positive method to be the example of how to succeed at the highest level of anything. hell, i'd take the "i'm the goddamned boss because i do my job well, so shut your cakehole before i stuff a boot in it" style of sir alex ferguson, because at least you can argue that it instills the concept of respecting someone who succeeds through merit. what i don't like is the clinical, soulless tactics of a mourinho, which have now spread like a modern-day bubonic plague throughout europe. [note :: mourinho actually learned a lot of that from his old tutor louis van gaal, sort of like darth vader studied under obi wan kenobi.]

it's a sad fact that more people follow sports than follow the news, which means that by operating in that arena, the antichrist is actually ensuring that his message is diffused to the widest possible audience. soccer/ football being the most popular sport in the world... well, you see where i'm going with this. and at the moment, mourinho and chelsea seem unstoppable.

almost.

meet our lone beacon of hope, alan pardew.

know your place, son




known as cantankerous, tough, plain-spoken type, pardew holds the distinction of being the one manager to beat chelsea so far this season. interestingly, in a typically pardew-esque mix of grace and gruffness, he also took arsenal fans to task for booing arsène wenger and telling them they should appreciate him, since he was one of the best managers in history. a terrible run at the beginning of the season and streaky form since means that pardew's newcastle side has precisely zero chance of challenging chelsea for the league title. at best, he could play a sort of spoiler role against chelsea the way that mourinho did last year against liverpool. [sadly, that would most likely result in rich kids man city winning the title again, but we're talking about stopping the antichrist here. the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that.]


at the very least, there is the tantalizing possibility that pardew could unleash one of those headbutts on mourinho during a game. i think i could live with that.

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