José Mourinho just might be likeable after all

Is José Mourinho losing his touch? He’s given a 3,800 word interview to the Telegraph in which no one gets taunted. There’s not even a chance it will lead to an FA misconduct charge.

Has the Chelsea manager ever spoken to a reporter for so long without gratuitously mocking his rivals?

Things start promisingly enough: “I think I have a problem,’ Mourinho says, “which is I’m getting better at everything related to my job since I started. There has been evolution in many different areas – the way I read the game; the way I prepare the game; the way I train; the methodology… I feel better and better. But there is one point where I cannot change: when I face the media, I am never a hypocrite.”

Mourinho shows a rare moment of pure likeability.

Mourinho shows a rare moment of pure likeability. (Photo: Getty Images)

Yet the arrogance is quickly dialed back and we learn about what a great, compassionate, thoughtful, reasonable guy Mourinho is. Way to destroy everything we thought we knew about you, José. I suppose you’re going to talk about your kids, your charity work and your love of poetry, too? Holy shit, you are!

We get a brief reference to his media manipulation: “I know Machiavelli, of course. I agree that sometimes I can have something of Machiavelli in some of my comments, but no more than that. Not at all.”

We’re told that Mourinho only refers to rival Arsène Wenger by his last name, but there’s no mocking of the Arsenal manager, no references to his team’s barren trophy cabinet. In fact, he even mentions that he agrees with Wenger about problems with the Ballon d’Or!

This interview paints Mourinho as both normal and likable. Which is not what we pay to see.