Monday, August 28, 2006
Jose Mourinho came under a lot of criticism in his first season, when he dubbed himself “the Special One”, which was more of a result of his language barrier than pompous self-adoration.
Now he’s gone one better and given his thoughts on the row between himself and France Coach Raymond Domenach over Claude Makelele.
The 33-year-old holding midfielder faces a two-match domestic ban via FIFA rules for each French call-up he receives.
"Makelele is not a football player - Makelele is a slave," he said, looking down at his notes at the scrawled "IRONY - say it with IRONY" that Peter Kenyon wrote down for the gaffer.
"He's played the biggest game you can, the World Cup final, and now wants to retire but the coach told us if he is not playing for France, he is not playing for Chelsea," said Mourinho.
"We know the rules. You are a slave, you have no human rights."
Now, the term “slave” must not carry as much weight in the UK as it does here, given the lack of coverage of this incident, but you can be sure it made Makelele uncomfortable, although he didn’t overreact in the same way most of our athletes would over here.
"My coach's words are a bit strong."
He added: "He's probably gone too far. But his disappointment is logical.
Makelele came out of international retirement to help France qualify for the World Cup and was instrumental in Les Bleus making it to the Final.
Remember, an angry Mourinho is a quotable one, which means more entertainment during the season, and speaking of French internationals that play for Chelsea, the Special One had something to say about Willy Gallas and his attempt to leave Chelsea.
Asked about the Gallas situation, Mourinho said: 'The best thing to do is to ask him. People should talk to his agent and try to have a press conference with Gallas.
'There are a lot of answers but answers he should be the one to give. It is not that I don't want to tell but I shouldn't be the one to say things that he should tell. This situation deserves a press conference with the player.'
I’m just glad that hopefully all of this Cole-Gallas-Chelsea-Arsenal thing will end on Thursday, as the transfer window closes, but expect it to pick up in earnest again in January if nothing is resolved.
Makelele Row [BBC Football]
Gallas Saga [Soccernet]