Whenever Mourinho accused his players of “mental weakness”

We would not always want to talk about José Mourinho, but what is happening to him in Roma recalls facts and events from the past that are too juicy, and even funny, to be ignored. This time the spotlight must necessarily be turned on his statements: after the sensational defeat against Juventus – his team managed to be beaten with the result of 3-4 after having deservedly gone ahead first on 1-0 and then on 3-1 – the Roma coach said that «there were 70 minutes of absolute control, in which we played really well, with the right mentality. After that there was a psychological collapse and the 3-2 goal destroyed us ». In short, for Mourinho, the problems of the Giallorossi team are of a psychological nature, they concern the mentality of the players, not the tactics, not the technique, not the connections that are established or not established on the pitch.

Limited to the match against Juventus, this interpretation of Mourinho could also be considered true, realistic, given the evident decline accused on the pitch by the Roma players. The real problem is that Mourinho said the exact same things in his days at Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, that is, during his last three experiences on the bench – all gone badly and not too well. Here are the testimonies: on 15 December 2015, after the defeat at Leicester and following a tragic start to the season, Mourinho said that “the miri players are mentally weak”; two days later, he was sacked for the second time by Roman Abramovich after his first farewell in 2007. On 4 February 2017, following a 0-0 draw with Hull City at Old Trafford, Mou said that “many players from the my team do not have the necessary mentality to play in a team like Manchester United, which has to fight for great goals »; at the end of the season United would have won the League Cup and the Europa League, the last trophies won in his career by the Portuguese manager, sacked for lack of results in December 2018. On 18 October 2020, after an incredible comeback suffered by his Tottenham at White Hart Lane in a game against West Ham (the Spurs were leading 3-0 with ten minutes to go and managed to concede three goals), Mourinho said that “my boys are not strong enough psychologically, we have lost control and in the end we were punished ”; the Portuguese manager was sacked on 19 April 2021, with the London team out of the Champions League and the Europa League, but qualified for the League Cup final.

In short, it is evident that even in Rome Mourinho is slavishly following the exact same path / script of his previous adventures. The Giallorossi team passed the Conference League group in first place – despite the historic 1-6 defeat at Bodø / Glimt – but at the moment they are sixth in the standings and suffer a delay of nine points from the Champions League zone. Furthermore, it had been for more than thirty years – to be precise from the 1988/89 season – that he hadn’t lost at home to Juventus, Milan and Inter in the same season. According to Mourinho, however, the problems of his team are of an exclusively psychological nature, there is a defect in mentality that prevents the Giallorossi from achieving results. Even if that were true, it is evident that this problem is also up to him, given that it is gone exactly like that anche a Stamford Bridge, a Old Trafford, a White Hart Lane.

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