Mourinho is: 'The convention breaker'.
Mourinho has bought things to football that I've rarely seen- if at all- from a manager.
For good reason, I will commence from this moment on to call him: 'the convention breaker'.
Aside from making apparently false accusations about the intergrity of football referees and opposing football managers, and aside from an openness about his confidence that is novel, just think about these other lesser-talked about incidents:
- A verbal slanging-match with an opposing player during a football match: 'the Carragher episode'. I cannot recall a manager so enragingly shouting at a player from the other team during a game (the Carling Cup final). Where was the fourth official? Where was the reprimand after the match by the authorities? He should have been thrown the book- not 'the book', but an important book nonetheless- for bringing the game into disrepute.
- Gestures to deliberately taunt fans during a match: 'the shoosh episode'. I am not from Liverpool and I am not a Liverpool fan. But I've been to Liverpool and I know- without wishing to cast sterotypes- that Liverpool people show hospitality to outsiders that is rarely seen in London. In sum they are great people. So to taunt Liverpool fans was, for me, not just an insult to them, but an insult to all who respect good people.
- Refusing to shake hands with an opposing manager after a match: the Hughes incident. After the match at Ewood Park, Mourinho deliberately blanked Mark Hughes and instead ran like a wildman onto the pitch and promptly asked his players to strip off and distribute their kits to the Chelsea fans. Was I the only one who thought this wierd?
- Running like a wildman onto the pitch: the Mourinho-style celebration. I thought the Old Trafford incident whilst manager at Porto was a one-off thing that would not be repeated because managers just don't do that sort of thing- presumably because it shows a disrespect for the opposing manager and may be seen as bringing lesser dignity to their managerial status. But he has gone on to repeat it at Ewood Park, and then again after Barcelona match. Where will it happen next?
- Shaking hands with opposing players before a match: the Man Utd and Gerrard incidents. Before the semi final second leg of the Carling Cup match with Man Utd, Mourinho made a point of shaking the hands of all the Man Utd players. Was this sportsmanship or something more calculated? He did the same thing before the final- but this time targeted only one player: the captain and much-talked about transfer target, Stevie G. Stevie reciprocated because he is a gentleman- but he looked uneasy as he did it. He then played a bad game- his energy levels looking really muted. Has Mourinho read a psychology article which suggests that it is in his advantage to make a point of shaking hands with unsuspecting opposing players before a match? It wouldn't surprise me if he has. (Note to Arsenal players- stay well away from Mourinho before football matches against his team!)
Mourinho has only been in this country for ten months. However, in that short space of time, he has indulged in tactics that show him to be serial convention breaker. The cumulative effect has been to make initial supporters of his style think again whether he is worthy of their support.
Does he care? A conventional person probably would care about his public persona. On this basis then, Mourinho presumably doesn't care at all.