Mourinho on the way out already at Madrid?
Published: 28.12.12 / Written by: David Gold
Jose Mourinho’s decision to drop Iker Casillas for the weekend’s game with Malaga backfired spectacularly.
The man who once declared that nine of his Chelsea team were indispensable and undroppable, told the greatest goalkeeper in Spanish football history, the Real Madrid captain Casillas, who had not been dropped in 10 years, that he was to be on the bench.
Antonio Adan took his place, supposedly, if Mourinho is to be believed, the better player. Yet Adan, without really doing much wrong, was unable to prevent Malaga finding the net three times as the Andalucians beat Real Madrid 3-2.
It was symbolic that Casillas was the one dropped. Along with Sergio Ramos, the duo are the two most high profile Madrid players Mourinho is reported to have a poor relationship with. The Portuguese has never been able to win over his entire dressing room, if reports are to be believed. And his team do not appear to be pulling behind him, as Mourinho’s controversial and divisive attitude continues to sow seeds of discontent in Madrid.
The club have seemingly had enough of his antics, as the reports emerged earlier this month that Mourinho was to leave at the end of the season. Madrid were drawn with Manchester United in the next round of the Champions League, and it would be a shock if Mourinho is still at the helm when that match takes place as things are going now.
Madrid are not just 16 points behind Barcelona. They are not even just seven points adrift of their arch rivals, and city foes Atletico Madrid. They are now just two points clear of the side who just beat them, Malaga, who are closing in on Los Blancos in fourth place.
It would not be a surprise if they got rid of him, but then who would they bring in? Much may depend on what happens in Paris .Carlo Ancelotti is under similar pressure at Paris St Germain, and if he loses his job at the Parc des Princes, he could well be called in to take charge in Madrid. Or, should Chelsea suffer a collapse in their form, it is not inconceivable that Rafa Benitez could be on his way soon. But then again, it would be strange to see that happen in spite of the trigger happy approach of Roman Abramovich.
So it is hard to see where else Madrid will find someone to take the reins. They are the one big club in Europe who do not have an eye on Pep Guardiola, for obvious reasons, so it is unclear where they would find another coach in the middle of the campaign. Roberto di Matteo? He would seem the only other obvious choice, particularly given the way in which he guided Chelsea to the Champions League title last season. But then his defensive tactics which won them that competition would not go down well in Madrid, whilst the Londoners relied on a lot of luck.
Mourinho may just battle on for now. But if he continues to make sly digs at his players, insinuating incorrectly that their woes are their fault rather than his, then the Portuguese coach may find his time at the Bernabeu coming to a much quicker end. It is unusual for Mourinho to be fired, even more so for under-achievement. Yet he is now at a club which is far bigger than his own ego, and that may just be his undoing. For the man who likes to be the story, he has met his match in Madrid and could be on his way out sooner rather than later.