There are many things that you could accuse Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho of being, and ‘inconspicuously subtle’ is definitely not one of them.
With tonight’s Copa Del Rey tie with lowly Real Murcia looming, many-a-Madrid supporters’ memory is instantly transported back to this time last season when Manuel Pellegrini‘s ailing charges slumped to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of third-tier side Alcorcon in the corresponding fixture (with Los Merengues eventually dribbling out of the competition altogether after only managing to notch a single consolation goal in the return leg a fortnight later), but the Chilean’s successor is determined that his batch of Galacticos will not suffer the same critically embarrassing fate.
After his side’s blistering 6-1 thrashing of Racing Santander last weekend, Mourinho has hinted that some of his first string will be rested against Murcia (who’s coach Inaki Alonso has told his team to pray if they are to have any chance of overturning Madrid), but the Portuguese schemer has ushered some intimidating words of warning to the reserves that will be ushered into the breach.
Speaking at a press conference, Mourinho intimated that his selection will be deemed suitably strong to dispatch Murcia and the consequences of failing to do so will mean his players will be taking their metaphorical lives in their metaphorical hands:
“Karim Benzema will start and so will Cristiano Ronaldo as it is a very important game to me. If last year’s situation (at Alcorcon) repeats itself, I will cross those who play off my list because they will be dead to me.”
Seems that Mourinho’s superb grasp of man-management has reared it’s immaculately coiffed head once again. His words may be overly-stern, grave and uncompromising, but how else could you even begin to motivate such a vast phalanx of such pampered, ego-fluffed ne’er-do-wells?
It is perhaps indicative of the man that after only eleven games of the current campaign, and despite a fairly inauspicious start to his tenure, the dauntingly arrogant Mourinho already sees fit to begin issuing such weighty ultimatums to his auxiliary troops.
Many managers have made similar threats in the past, but the menace is usually just bluff and bluster. Given his previous, there can be no grounds to doubt that Mourinho will fail to act upon his portent browbeating.