Philip II, of Macedon, is famous for a few things. As the father of Alexander III (i.e. Alexander the Great), he was largely responsible for starting the rise of the Macedonian Empire, built on the back of great long-speared armies of phalanxes, which he introduced. He is also credited with being the first to truly embrace the idea of "divide and conquer," breaking up large concentrations of power into smaller entities that are easier to defeat than the whole.
Mourinho, Mk.II, is obviously a student of history, able to learn from past mistakes and successes. So it shouldn't be surprising when he applies tried and true strategies in his war with the English media, who, he claims, are running a vicious campaign against him and Chelsea.
When he made his glorious return to the press conference podium on Friday -- The Daily Mail missed him so much that they even ran a whole transcript of the 15-minute presser (just like they did when he made his Chelsea return) -- José wasted no time in throwing out a few barbs, some more thinly veiled than others. When asked about player availability for the Aston Villa match, he replied "Filipe is injured and the player who is suspended is suspended." Or at least that's what the Mail's transcript says.
I believe Mourinho actually said "the player YOU suspend is suspended," putting the blame for Costa's suspension squarely on the over-reactionary and sensationalist media (especially Sky "Costa Crimes" Sports, no doubt). Judge for yourself; it's just before the 4-minute mark:
We had a chat about this at WAGNH Towers soon after it happened, but since I seemed to be the only one who thought he said "you," I did not want to risk a Brian Williams moment, so I did not mention it on the blog. But I do believe Mourinho has vindicated me in his post-match interview with the BBC.
Mourinho claims it's the fact the reporter's from the BBC is what has him smiling and talking. "You don't suspend players. You don't ask players to be banned." The Happy One then go us on to claim that he'll be best friends forever* with the Beeb, presumably on the unspoken condition of them not joining in with evil campaigners Sky Sports and the rest. The video cuts off before he makes the reporter embrace him and give him a couple kisses on the cheek.
Divide and conquer. Kill the echo chamber! One by one, slice by slice, they will fall. A page out of Philip II's book. Or Sir Alex Ferguson's book, if we're looking for a bit more modern example. Sharpen your spears!
* forever (adverb) -- for·ev·er \fə-ˈrev-ər, fò-; Southern often fə-ˈe-və\ -- for a limitless time ... or at least for this week