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Don’t blame Mourinho for being a monster, we created him

first_imgThis column appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app here, and follow on twitter @sportmagukElite sport always produces characters we find difficult to like.Nick Kyrgios is currently dividing tennis with his own blend of sublime talent and cheek-slappable rudeness. We’ve seen plenty of footballers declared gits, and rugby union has had players like Danny Cipriani and James O’Connor hung out to dry for their behaviour.My question is this: is it actually our fault?Of course, we didn’t raise these sporty types and so we cannot be blamed for the variation in perceived behavioural boundaries they have assumed. But it is us, the sport-loving public, who tells them repeatedly how very special they are. Sporting ability is a wonderful thing to regard and, I imagine, to possess – but it is no more impressive in real terms than a brilliant economic or political mind. It is no more praiseworthy as a trait than a compulsion to help others, or to teach children.We know this, but something about sport impassions us and, thus, often skews our perspectives. I have kids and, while certainly not being the world’s best dad, I know absolutely that telling them how much more special they are than every other kid in school will see things end badly for them. Yes, I offer heaps of affection and praise, but I also move in swiftly to squash any hints of (innocent) relative ego inflation.Just for huge fun, let’s all think about Jose Mourinho for a moment. This is a handsome man who dresses beautifully, talks charismatically and knows an awful lot about how to make a football team win. In such a competitive world, he is clearly outstanding at his job. However, I’ve long felt intermittently nauseous at the way in which we, the British, seem to fawn over him.I love football but am not an obsessive, and this has a lot to do with the behaviours – diving, abusing referees, managers trotting out utter bullshit after matches that haven’t gone so well – that surround the game. I’d rather just watch the action and skip the human piece.I have always found Mourinho less impressive off the field than the media suggests. His short, stunted answers can be comedic – but often he appears, to me at least, dismissive and superior. But why wouldn’t he be? He has repeatedly been told how special he is and that he is a genius, so how can we expect him to treat others as equals? We shouldn’t. Just as we shouldn’t be surprised at what a prize pig he was around the incident involving his team doctor. We created him. 1 Jose Mourinho last_img read more

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