The assumption whenever Jose Mourinho says or does something is that it's all part of some multilevel, wheels-within-wheels master plan of Bond-villain proportions. And it may be. Or, journalists may just be Pinky, asking Brain what he's going to do every night. But of course he's going to the same thing he does every night: try to take over the world! And then Pinky goes off on a non-sequitur.
Yet, a huge part of the genius that is Jose Mourinho is that often he's just a man of simple truths and obvious values. He likes fast cars, good wine, hard work, and, above all else, winning. But when you have his cult of personality, even simple truths can become football-shaking affirmations.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mourinho was asked whether he considered Zlatan Ibrahimovic to have a 'difficult' personality - a quality that's often associated with ego and ambition. The Chelsea manager replied in a way that should not be surprising to us at all:
"...for me the difficult personalities are the players that don't want to win, don't want to work, and don't want to be the best. [Zlatan] wants to work and he wants to be best. He has a big ego, a big self-esteem, and he knows he's a really top player, so for me to be his coach was fantastic."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC
So there you have it. Three things that define the world's best striker. Not coincidentally, they are the three things that Jose Mourinho looks for and asks for from his players.
- The first rule of Mourinho is: you have to want to win
- The second rule of Mourinho is: you have to want to work
- The third rule of Mourinho is: you have to want to be the best
When people say it's Jose's way or the highway, they manage to paint a picture of unreasonable expectations fueled by random personal vendettas. But the rules are simple. Work. Win. Be the best.
And if this is your first night, you have to fight.