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Five worst Jose Mourinho excuses after Juan Mata Community Shield burn

| 11.08.2016

Holly Thackeray | August 10, 2016

Mourinho master of excuses

Football is an open field for terrible, flimsy, unbelievable or just downright bad excuses, providing punters with some real giggles along the way as players, managers and pundits indulge in a shifting of blame culture.

And, there’s no-one better at whipping up a poor excuse than Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (3/1 with Coral to win the Premier League), who recently gave us all a chuckle or two with his reasoning behind subbing off Juan Mata in the recent Community Shield victory over Leicester City.

Spain playmaker Mata, previously sold by Mourinho when at Chelsea, had been on the pitch for under half an hour, as a substitute himself before being hauled back to the bench.

Leicester City v Manchester United  - FA Community Shield -  Wembley Stadium

Of his decision, Mourinho cited height and curiously former Stoke City Rory Delap as his excuse: “I couldn’t take Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] or [Marouane] Fellaini off because Leicester’s ‘Rory Delap’ throw-ins would win it.

“The rules allow six changes, I had made five and I wanted to stop the game.

“I need to take off the smallest player because we were expecting a lot of long balls. He is the smallest one.

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“But I think he played very well,” Mourinho tacked on at the end.

So, Coral writers came up with master of mindgames Mourinho’s worst five ever excuses. Enjoy…

Mourinho the muggle

After his first match as Real Madrid manager ended in a disappointing draw, Mourinho cruelly ripped away the escapism of JK Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter world to excuse his side’s poor showing.

“I’m a coach, I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.” Clearly somebody didn’t receive a Hogwarts letter in the post.

Soccer - La Liga - Real Madrid v Osasuna - Santiago Bernabeu

Blame the ballboys

“They [Leicester City] fought with everything, they defended with everything, and the ballboys were amazing too,” Mourinho maligned as his then Premier League champions Chelsea slipped 20 points behind eventual winners Leicester in the title race, after the Foxes beat the Blues 2-1 in 2015.

Unhappy with the speed, or lack of, with which the ball was retrieved on the sidlines, ‘the Special One’ continued to deflect onto the kids, adding: “I say the point about the ballboys because it’s a disgrace for the Premier League.”

Jose Mourinho

It’s not the only time Mourinho has had an issue with ballboys, also incurring incidents against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United, when he said: “The ball disappeared every time. We want to play but there is no ball.”.

While former charge Eden Hazard also came under-fire when working for the ex-Blues boss, as he kicked out at a ballboy against Swansea City (10/3 chances for Premier League relegation). Like player, like manager?

Point the finger at the players

Mourinho hasn’t always tried to ‘protect’ his players with excuses, ala Mata, but in fact used them as one for himself.

As his second Chelsea reign crumbled, with a 3-0 loss to Manchester City, the then Blues boss famously took a dig at the majority of his team, stating: “I’m not happy with anyone.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium

“I’m not happy with Branislav Ivanovic’s form, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic.” We’re not sure that was the best way to motivate his men…

Throw the fans under the bus

If using the ballboys or your own players as an excuse fails, you can always explain away a draw against Borussia Dortmund as Real Madrid manager by slating the support.

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“If, like me, you have been here for two and a half years, you are used to the ‘cold’ atmosphere [at the Bernabeu].” Never wise.

Hammer and nails

How to excuse a stalemate against London rivals West Ham United while in charge of Chelsea? An absurd reference to DIY tools of course.

“This is football from the 19th century. The only thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall,” said ‘the Special One’ of Sam Allardyce’s supposed spoiling tactics. We could swear Mourinho has been accused of a similar approach before…

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As for defeat to West Bromwhich Albion? “If I have to blame anybody, blame Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool for letting us win the title so early!” If in doubt blame your rivals. We had to fit that in there.


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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.