Real Madrid players losing faith in Mourinho
The cracks are starting to appear for the “Special One” following yet another defeat against rivals Barcelona in the Kings Cup during the week.
The media outrage at Pepe’s inexcusable stamping offence on Lionel Messi and reports in the Spanish press of a player revolt could spell the beginning of the end for charismatic Mourinho.
Before the match on Wednesday night several senior players questioned the manager’s bizarre decision to drop Spanish international Raúl Albiol in order to accommodate the ageing Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvahlo and Hamit Altıntop.
His plan backfired as Carvahlo, who is been injured for most of the season struggled to keep Messi, Iniesta and co at bay.
Leading the opposition was Sergio Ramos, who Mourinho subsequently blamed after the match for allowing Carlos Puyol the space to score the equalising goal. He was supported by fellow compatriots Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso who have become increasingly sceptical of Mourinho in recent weeks.
The dispute exacerbated during training late last week when Mourinho provoked Sergio Ramos. Whilst carrying his post mortem of the teams performance against Barcelona, mundodeportivo.com claimed that Mourinho pointed to the defender when addressing the players, claiming he had lost confidence in the defence.
According to the report, Ramos declared that the coach should not believe what he reads in the papers and spend more time communicating directly with the team. Wary that Mourinho has also used the press to his advantage, Iker Casillas interjected and backed up Ramos’ stance.
Mourinho, is acutely aware of the favoritism the Spanish contingent of players receive from the Madrid press. Having won the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2008, the squad are revered in their country. With both sides of this feud not looking to back down, it appears Real Madrid are in the grips of a power struggle. By attacking the Spanish international players, this looks like one battle the players, fans and media alike will not allow Mourinho to win.
Mourinho has always sought the total support of his squad. To date his tenure at Real Madrid has been relatively successfully, but looming large in the background is always the ominous shadow of the mighty Barca. Success in last years Kings Cup final would have appeased some of his detractors, but his achievements were always going to be measured against those of the Catalans.
If Barcelona win tonight against Malaga, they will be breathing down their rivals neck in a race to secure their third successive title. It’s imperative for Mourinho to win back the trust and confidence of the senior players within his squad, especially the Spanish international’s.
As always the build up to “El Clasico” is fraught with tension, gossip and intrigue. Wednesday night’s return match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp has taken a new twist and this could prove to be the pivotal point in Jose Mourinho’ reign as Real Madrid coach.