The Jose Mourinho guide to alienating a star player

The Manchester United boss seems to have a ‘special’ skill when it comes to giving one of his squad the coldest of shoulders…


Jose Mourinho is the Special One, ladies and gentlemen. Get used to that and don’t try to take it away from him.

In fact, the Special One is such a Special One that he likes to make other, less special Special Ones feel far lower in the special stakes than himself.

We’ve seen his sort of one-sided battle before, against the likes of Juan Mata, Iker Casillas and, conversely, Eva Carneiro. Jose Mourinho simply cannot take being out-done or, really, out-specialed.

It doesn’t happen….

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But, how does the Portuguese gaffer manage it?

How does he persistently alienate a potentially threatening personality to ensure his inflated ego stays large and undented to make up for any other shortcoming inadequacies?

Well, for any aspiring Mourinhos out there, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on Jose’s alienating techniques.

N.B. Don’t follow it too closely, your newfound levels of special might alarm the big guy and make you his next fixation. You’ve been warned…

Step 1) Choose your special opponent

Who’s a good target?

Do they have some kind of problem that makes them easy to pick on or, even better, that you can subtly allude to in the press with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, look at the podgy on the bench kind of look? Or perhaps you’ll go the other way: take on the big guns.

If you can tackle a fan favourite and bring them to their knees, you’ll really be showing the world you’re the one. The special one.

Good opponents include: club captain (hard work), nerdy and/or overweight fringe player (piece of piss), anyone paid a penny more than you (fair game) and some poor, defenceless part of the catering staff (a low and desperate measure).

It’s time to choose your opponent. Pick wisely and let battle commence.

Step 2) Get the squad to mock them

This part is essential for further out-specialing development. But be careful, you don’t want a riot on your hands, so don’t push it too far. That’s because when you’re hitting the step four and five you can’t have your squad defending this new rival.

Drop the odd jibe here, the odd dig there and start to get those around you against them. We’ve heard Jose’s tactics tend to include repeated and burning ‘Your Mum’ jokes, you’ve-got-something-on-your-top-whoops-I-flicked-your-nose-hahaha-donut moves, and inventing a catchy if derogatory nickname.

Sources say ‘Luke Shawty’ became seemingly harmless locker room talk until the full-back became actually quite good.

Step 3) Initiate alienation

You’ve found a suitable opponent and spent sufficient time moving them to the fringes of the group, now it’s time to engage in the serious end of things. This is a little dirty, so prepare to roll your sleeves up and get mucky.

In training, for example, take a group of 11 and make them play five-a-side, leaving you-know-who left out on their own.

Be imaginative at first and then roll out the go-to big gun: it’s bench time. You know where they’re playing on Saturday afternoon and soon so will everyone else.

Bench ‘em. Do it. Be heartless, ruthless and brutal. You’ve got a goal and you’re going to achieve it. The Less Special One better get comfy, that bench isn’t gonna warm itself.

Step 4) Manipulate the rabid dogs of the media

Get them to turn on the poor sod. You can be subtle or you can be vicious, it’s your call. Jose prefers the understated approach, but this style might be a touch too tricky for the everyday novice.

He’ll won’t to blame anyone at first, refuse to lambaste a single soul. But when things go wrong, you’d better believe he’s got his excuses ready.

How about that lad you’ve left on the bench recently, Jose? Well, you can’t blame him. I’m not saying nothing.

Though some people haven’t been pulling their weight for this club and it’s putting a strain on others. Not that you like to complain, of course.

Step 5) Prepare your finishing move

This is it. Your time has come. Mr/Mrs Special, But Not As Special As Me is ready for the final showdown.

There’s an array of possibility here, and we don’t want to put any bad thoughts into your mind. But the whole world is against this person and in your head, your genesis has never shone brighter.

Be ready to end them and claim your crown. The sweet smell of special success lies ahead.

Step 6) You’re sacked

Oh, bollocks, you think. This hasn’t gone too well, has it?

In all the time you’ve been focusing on alienating your potentially more special Special One, you’ve been losing games left, right and centre.

The board, fans and players have had enough and it’s time to head off.

You’re not so special after all…

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