John Giles – Angry, Old, Useless

Posted: April 30, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The Champions League always brings up plenty of talking points, especially in the latter stages, and the Barcelona v. Inter Milan 2nd-leg match on Wednesday last was no exception. Henry Winter of the Irish Independent summed the whole game up in his opening paragraph, saying “Pure Mourinho, pure theatre, pure controversy. What a night. What a manager.”

Jose Mourinho by vottak.

Mourinho – Way cooler than John Giles

It was the night when The Special One – who started his coaching career as a translator for the late Sir Bobby Robson during his time at the Nou Camp in the early nineties – showed the home crowd just how far he had come. Still only 47, the Portuguese is already regarded as one of the greatest tacticians the game has ever seen, and judging by his apetite for the game, he’s got at least another 47 years left in him before he hangs up the Armani coat. He’s stepped on a lot of toes in his time, but he’s impressed everyone nonetheless, and even the biggest begrudgers cannot deny his talent.

Begrudgers are one thing, but for the last twenty years or so, RTE have been breeding the type of toxic, ignorant, Super-Begrudgers that would put the Taliban to shame. Mourinho’s counterpart on the night, Pep Guardiola, 39, is one of the most exciting young managers in the game, having put together a Barca side that has torn shreds out of opponents all season. His position as manager was called into question by Giles and Co. for apparently not utilising the extra space on the pitch after Thiago Motta’s dismissal. In truth, however, Guardiola could do little in the face of such a well-organised Inter rearguard. The Italians won thanks to a defensive masterclass, a phrase which Mourinho has become synonymous with.

Here he was, Giles… in his ill-fitting beige jacket, a look of indignation on his face that would stop a clock, bringing Guardiola’s position as manager into question, saying that his side can’t defend (let’s not forget that the final score in the second leg was 1-0 to Barca), that they are not the team that we all thought they were. Eamon Dunphy praised Gerard Pique’s goal, but then added that he can’t defend – anyone who watched the match with any sort of dilligence would know better.

When referring to the outspoken antics that Mourinho always gets involved in, John Giles’ arrogance and old-fashioned attitude will always revert back to the same argument, namely, “Bill Shankly wouldn’t do that”. When it comes to an issue of misbehaving players, he will replace Shankly’s name with that of Paul Scholes; the Shining Ginger Beacon that all others must be compared to – the only good footballer left in this world of effete children playing a man’s game.

The Catalans didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory after the final whistle, with goalkeeper Victor Valdes man-handling of the jubilant Inter manager, and, of course, the sprinklers were turned on soon after. It was, according to Eamon Dunphy, an example of “the nastiness that permeates every area of the sport nowadays”, which, in retrospect, is hard to deny.

Barca were angered to have lost to a team which they deemed inferior from the outset, but Mourinho’s elation at the final whistle was by no means disgraceful. Giles went as far as to say “I hate him for what he does” (he honestly does say this, check out 2:38 on the Champions League programme on the RTE Player) What Mourinho did was simply show his passion for the game; in a time where people are growing frustrated with the amount of nonsense that surrounds soccer, it is great to see someone who stills loves it as much as The Special One. Giles and Dunphy are just as quick to criticise the likes of Rafa Benitez for showing no emotion at all. From now on gents, can we see a bit more consistency in your analysis, there are plenty of others out there who want your job and would be much better at it. (Me)

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