In his first press conference as Roma manager, José Mourinho insisted that he had changed. “I won’t run into trouble,” he promised. “Now I have more experience. I’m more stable emotionally.”
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One of the most decorated managers in the history of football, who was simultaneously sent off and suspended for a tantrum on the touchline, became a laughingstock, and his embarrassing annoyance became the subject of many memes.
We’ve probably all seen – and laughed at – the picture of Mourinho sitting quietly on the bench before realizing that the decision was not in his favor, and then rushing to the fourth official to complain.
Meanwhile, last season we were also delighted by the “funny” image of Mourinho forced to watch his team’s match against Spezia on an iPad on the team bus, receiving a two-game suspension after being sent off – and angrily hitting the ball as he left the field – against “Verona”, which ended in a draw 2:2.
However, it cannot be denied that fewer people, especially those who work in football, still find the behavior of Mourinho or his coaching staff funny.
Mourinho’s ‘shocking’ attitude
Earlier this season, Mourinho and his assistants got into an embarrassing row when Roma goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos got into a physical confrontation with Bodø-Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen.
Both men declared self-defense, but both were suspended by UEFA, which infuriated Knutsen, who is disgusted not only by Santos and suspension, but also by Mourinho.
Of course, no one who followed Mourinho’s career was surprised at all. He has many past sins, so it was not a shock when, just a few days later, the Portuguese found himself at the center of yet another embarrassing episode when another member of Mourinho’s coaching team embarrassed himself by ridiculing Salernitana for their possible relegation from Serie A.
Worst disciplinary record in Serie A
Mourinho’s fans will obviously argue that this was another masterstroke straight out of the Portuguese’s notes, diverting attention from the shockingly poor performance of his players.
The fact is that Mourinho received a yellow or red card eight times in less than two years at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. What’s more, after his third suspension this season, the 60-year-old now has the worst disciplinary record of the 2022/23 Serie A season – and not only among coaches, but also among players.
Think it’s funny? Maybe, but it’s also a little sad. And, of course, counterproductive.
The man who, over the years, took so much pleasure in making fun of others is now the butt of jokes, which means that even those who still find Mourinho’s antics funny are no longer laughing with him, they are laughing at him.