‘The Happy One’ Mourinho in sulking mode

2014-04-22 08:43

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Madrid – Whether José Mourinho is in England or in Spain, “The Happy One” is looking a lot more like “The Miserable One” these days.

Ahead of the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Atletico Madrid, the Chelsea manager seemed like the sulky and irritable coach who marked his three-season spell at Real Madrid.

Mourinho, who labelled himself “The Happy One” after recently returning to Chelsea, looked disinterested in his first return to Spain as he preferred to divulge little about his team, his opponent, or his state of mind during yesterday’s prematch news conference.

But his prickly demeanour provided more than enough reply.

“Nothing’s changed,” Mourinho dryly replied when asked about his subdued demeanour, “maybe it’s the weather”.

Mourinho exited Madrid after what he termed his worst season as a coach, losing the Copa del Rey final to an Atletico team led by coach Diego Simeone.

But Mourinho would not address any specifics about the Spanish leader, which knocked AC Milan and Barcelona from the competition.

“I studied them a lot and try to make my players understand what Atletico is. But I have no interest to share with you my vision,” said Mourinho, who answered all questions in English. “To reach the Champions League semifinal and be fighting for the Spanish title, you must be a very important team.”

Mourinho said little about Simeone, who was quick to praise Mourinho earlier yesterday, but still seemed to direct a message to his counterpart.

“I don’t agree,” Mourinho replied when asked if he thought Simeone’s assessment was correct.

“It’s difficult to compare coaches, it’s not fair to compare coaches, it’s not fair to compare a coach with 15 years of career with a coach that has less than that. It’s something I don’t do and it’s something I don’t like to do.”

Mourinho refused to address the ramifications of Saturday’s 1-2 loss to Sunderland in the English Premier League, when assistant Rui Faria was sent off following a touchline tirade that precipitated the Blues’ first home defeat under Mourinho.

“These are Champions League days, and if you want to speak about Premier League, you have 19 teams you can speak with,” said Mourinho, who also refused to be drawn into discussion about Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois is on loan from Chelsea, but a clause that would have kept the Belgium international from playing against his mother club was overruled by Uefa.

“I think that with Uefa decisions, it’s better not to comment. You just accept, or if you don’t accept, you don’t make any comment,” said Mourinho, who was bidding to become the first coach to win the European Cup with three different teams. “Uefa decides and managers don’t comment.”

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