Iker Casillas’ recent omission can be justified, according to the man responsible. Jose Mourinho believes that no man should be seen as bigger than the team and based on Casillas’ irregular form over the first half of the season, Mourinho has reacted based on his performances. The severity of the switch cannot be thought of as merely rotation given Casillas’ illustrious career as Mourinho further antagonised both the fans and directors above with his decision, perhaps confirming what Florentino Perez intends to do with Mourinho’s contract in the summer. Yet by causing such mayhem that has made Real a laughing stock in their own city, has Mourinho condescended his own ideals?
If no man is greater than the team, then surely one with such prestige as Real Madrid should be dealt with properly. But the sad truth is that Madrid are and still yearn to be seen as the European force of the 50’s and early millennium. Madridistas are desperate to be revered worldwide, especially at a time when their dominance is regularly overseen by the majesty of Barcelona.
Mourinho doesn’t allow such misconstrued nonsense in his teams – he creates it for further generations to abate. Mourinho is the sort of character who lands a job that a successful history has already made powerful and sets his team out to eclipse it. He did it at Chelsea, winning their first title in 50 years, at Inter Milan where he won the treble, and already with Real Madrid where his team totalled the record number of points in a La Liga season. He’s an unselfishly selfish man intent on being the best and returning success to forlorn giants in an often reckless manner.
And that is where the problem lies with Madrid today. Fans obviously want success but have seen Mourinho falter this season and have begun to question his methods. Sitting 16 points behind Barcelona is embarrassing and just not good enough from the perspective of Madridistas. The season has been a disaster and omitting hero goalkeeper Iker Casillas was seen to be the final straw.
Fans jeered Mourinho’s name prior to the game against Real Sociedad, sticking up for their beloved captain and club legend. No man had ever before dropped Casillas to the bench but the only man with enough charisma and bravery to do so is Mourinho. Many fans will agree that 2012/13 has not been Casillas’ greatest season, probably the first time we have seen the Spanish leader in so much discomfort when making his presence felt.
Along with an arrogance deserved of someone who had given the club so much service in 13 years, Mourinho felt that he no longer deserved the role he had made his own, instead turning to second choice Antonio Adan. Whilst there lay no unseen problems between Mourinho and Casillas, it was seen as a sign of disrespect towards Casillas who had to settle with a place on the bench. Removing the captain and presence of Casillas from the squad, from Mourinho’s view, is to make men of the team – to give more responsibility to outfield players, a strategy he has embedded into his previous teams.
Adan received a straight red card after only 6 minutes which probably delighted Mourinho. He is well aware that Casillas is probably the best ever Madrid keeper and hoped that his mind games on his own players had paid off. Whilst he conceded 3 goals in a 4-3 win, Mourinho expertly orchestrated media attention to their criticism of Adan instead of himself or in fact Casillas.
By implementing such extraordinary measures, Mourinho has come across as a harsh dictator and has attempted to run the club in his own manner. Countlessly he has argued with Perez with little regard for the man’s stature as his boss. Mourinho has this season been reckless with his criticism of players, deservedly or not, and his dealings with Perez, not to mention his team’s performances on the pitch. Combined together, the mess at Real Madrid has mounted into a continual soap opera which is beginning to tire and irk supporters.
With Mourinho trying to teach his lessons sporadically and publicly, has he forgotten one of his own philosophies – that no man is greater than the team. By attempting to form a cohesive team with players unwilling to put in the effort against teams like Valladolid and Granada, Mourinho is doing more harm than good and is actually turning the team into a mess.
As much as Mourinho believes he is doing the correct thing, he is undoubtedly making it harder for himself and the team. Maybe it is time for him to be benched?
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