Wednesday 17 January 2018

John Giles: Yaya and Jose live in a world of self-delusion


ON the face of it, Yaya Touré and Jose Mourinho don't have a lot in common in terms of background or football education but they are peas in a pod when it comes to self-pity and self-delusion.

Touré was in the media complaining about how miserable professional football makes him, so much so that he will actively discourage his kids from going down the same road.

No doubt Yaya will be able to give his kids the best of everything. Football, for all its ills, has given him the opportunity to provide for them in this way.

I'm appalled by this nonsense. Touré shows all the characteristics of a 12-year-old schoolboy who has everything but wants more.

The last time he dropped his lip and whinged because the club had apparently forgotten his birthday, Manchester City rushed to pacify him with a massive new contract offer.



Like all professional footballers earning a good living in the game, he should be down on his hands and knees on a daily basis thanking the stars and chance alignment of DNA which made him good at kicking a ball.

There is nothing old school about that notion, by the way, before people start bleating about the modern game and how we all have to adapt and change. Behaving badly is behaving badly. It was in my day and it still is.

The important point to note is that the vast majority of professional footballers never raise a murmur about their circumstances and I am convinced, really do appreciate the gift they have been given.

But the higher the profile the bigger the headline. When a big name behaves like a child, it has consequences beyond the confines of the club and cheapens the game if financial gain or a change of club is at the root of it all. In this case, Touré claims he is undervalued by the British media but he should only really be worried about what his manager thinks or what the supporters think.

Money is of no consequence to Mourinho and he is right there in the playpen with Touré at the moment, rattles flying in all directions.

I settled down to read Michael Walker's interview with Mourinho hoping to gain some insight into his recent awful behaviour.

All I read was a long moan about the decline of the football world he once knew which blithely ignored Mourinho's central role in the fall.

I agree with a lot of what he said. There is a rush to judge now like never before and much of the control some managers used to enjoy is gone, ceded to men in suits with fancy titles and big salaries.

But for him to take the high ground, as if he is somehow rooted in the football world I want to live in, is not just ridiculous. It's deluded.

There is no longer any point in listing Mourinho's worst moments. His character is established and he is consistent. He has a nasty streak and it rises to the surface easily.

When he is under pressure from within or facing criticism from without, he lashes out at the nearest target. It is never his fault, never his responsibility. José tell us that he is a lonely man with few friends in football, seeking sympathy, yet he behaves in such a way that he eliminates that very possibility. He should wonder why men like Johan Cruyff and Frank Beckenbauer feel moved to break the unwritten code and comment publicly in such a damning way about the damage they believe he is doing to the game. Why would they do that?

All he has to do is shut up. All he has to do is say nothing because his football teams usually say it all.

He is a great coach with a big mouth, an over-sized ego and no dignity. Like Touré, Mourinho should wake up every day and realise how lucky he is.

Just look at what is happening on the borders of Europe right now. There are thousands of desperate people running for their lives. They really understand what it is to be unhappy. I'm pretty sure a lot of them are lonely too.

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