José Mourinho seemed in a pretty good mood Monday for a guy who just got fired, and why shouldn’t he have been? This wasn’t his first abandoned rodeo, and it took the potential collapse of the European soccer structure to steal his embarrassment.
And you know that’s exactly how he took Monday’s events. The top end of English football as we know it seemed to have collapsed, and one of the demolition experts, Daniel Levy, is the guy who hooked Mourinho. And Mourinho, who knows it isn’t true because he is nobody’s naif, will take credit for it anyway. I mean, why the hell shouldn’t he take credit for Levy becoming Public Enemy No. 1 through 6? It’s all part of the show with him.
His firing was always looming, as it tends to be. Tottenham was among the shortest of his stays (the 11 games he served at Benfica that ended with him trying to work a power play on the club’s president is still the most Mourinh-y of them all) because he wore out his players with his persistent Mourinhosity. He never met a chunk of blame he couldn’t delegate, and he never failed to go back for seconds in the credit line, which is just him being so damned Mourintastic.
But of his six firings (they were all announced as “mutual consent,” though Mourinho never consented to anything except jamming his finger in his bosses’ eyes), this was close to the Benfica one because he somehow managed to convince Levy that he had to take a few hours out of his scheduled moneygrab to the Super League to rid himself of self-absorption’s turbulent priest.
In other words, he helped wreck a promising Tottenham season, undid the roster, disappointed the fanbase, and ended up a goddamned hero, all on the same day. For that, he must be credited for being an accidental genius, and for truly being the Special Ex-One. He is now a nine-time ex-coach, but he will sleep with no eyes open, unlike Levy. He had a great day getting ashcanned, and he will make an entire chapter out of it in his next book: I, By Me: The Royal We. That’s a victory lap right there, and you’d be a fool not to recognize it.
Thus, this is not a career obit we offer you of The High Prefect Of Improvisational Narcissism, but gutwrenching laughs in honor of a man who almost surely was the predated version of The Young Statesman. Mourinho won a lot, he pissed off a high percentage of people en route, he wore out not only welcomes but piss-offs, and he will be hired again. Please let it be the Columbus Crew, and please let it be before John Tortorella gets fired by the Blue Jackets. Ohio will have never loved being Ohio more than that.