“The third season is a failure. This is the worst season of my life. For many coaches it would be good, but for me it’s terrible. I had never finished a season without one of the important trophies. The Supercopa does not satisfy me” – quoth Mourinho, after losing the Copa Del Rey to Atletico, a team which hasn’t beaten Real in 14 years.
Hi egotism is much remarked-upon, and his soundbites are sports-writing crack. He’s witty, he’s diabolical, he knows how to wind everybody up, and he wins a lot. But jeez is he exhausting, and jeez his egotism is getting predictable. When he declared himself “the Special One” years ago it was startling and kind of brilliant. But he hasn’t found a new tune in all these years, and he’s getting successively less special.
He has a mastery of a certain type of rhetoric, in which he can simultaneously claim victimhood and a sort of elite status of a priori, one-of-a-kind winner. A guy whose fundamental center is made of victory juice. A loss is never due to him. This absurd self-definition makes watching him lose pretty entertaining. It is also becoming easier and easier to sort out his red herrings.
For example, the above statement just isn’t true. When he says this season of his would be good for many coaches, he’s blurring some basic lines. Sure, it would be great for any number of coaches not in charge of Real Madrid. But for any coach of Real Madrid, the season would be disappointing. He’s comparing himself to men without his resources, without his power. His failure is actually pedestrian: he, and his team, just weren’t good enough, they weren’t Special. He doesn’t want this bland unSpecialness to rub off on him, so he’s histrionic about it. This summer he’ll move to another mega-rich club and, after a few wins, will start to conflate the resources available to him with genius again.