Jody Morris has probably never been accused of not speaking his mind, be that as a player, as a coach, or as an assistant manager. It’s part of what made him a good teammate and part of what makes him a good role-model and coach for eager young minds.
But such a carefree attitude can also rub some people the wrong way as well, which apparently what happened when Morris posted a (public) reaction to a bit of Still-unemployed José Mourinho punditry last weekend.
According to Matt Hughes of
The Times Daily Mail (he was traded for Matt Lawton in the summer it would appear!), Chelsea have “warned” Morris about his social media posts regarding Mourinho last weekend and told him to “tone down” his activities.
It’s all fun and games until someone shows a bit of personality, right?
Chelsea warn Frank Lampard's No 2 Jody Morris about his social media use after he mocked 'bitter' Jose Mourinho on Instagram https://t.co/bbKU5W92zZ— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) November 15, 2019
So what’s the big deal?
Following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, The Special On(c)e pointed out that Chelsea’s performances in “big games” have not been as good as the Premier League table would have us believe. Which is hard to argue with, both in this specific case (Chelsea have not beaten a team in the current Top 7) and in the general sense (teams will tend to do worse against tougher opposition).
But Jody Morris isn’t in the listening to pundits business. He’s in the winning games for Chelsea business. He has to believe in Chelsea, and he has to convey that belief to his players. He can’t be thinking that a draw at home against Ajax means that Chelsea will definitely lose at the Etihad next weekend, for example. (And the same goes for the rest of the staff, including first and foremost, Frank Lampard, who’s also had to deal with Mourinho comments this season a couple times already.)
Block and mute button is lively today hahaha— Jody Morris (@morriskid) November 11, 2019
But for Morris it also goes a bit deeper than all that. For him, it’s (probably) personal (as well), at least to some non-negligible degree. After all, for years he watched José Mourinho go back on promises and pass over the most talented Chelsea youth players, most of whom spent time developing under Morris at some point or another in the Academy.
Note that in his tweet Jody doesn’t pick out the comments about the results or the style of play. He picks out the “worried” comment, which Mourinho claims he is, as if he were still “One Of Us”. Most of us are no longer that gullible, José.
Jody Morris speaking damningly on Sky Sports about how 'some' managers at Chelsea during his 4 years there as academy coach didn't care enough about young players. There were 2 managers in that time: Jose Mourinho & Antonio Conte. Wonder if he's referring to one or both of them— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) September 26, 2018
If we’re going to talk levels of “One Of Us”, by the way, it does not get much higher than Jody Morris. Here he is a couple years ago, when still just Chelsea U18 head coach, talking about his first-team management dreams.
Jody Morris tells us he dreams of managing Chelsea one day. pic.twitter.com/zThZtlAbmz— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 28, 2017
Anyway, Morris clearly found Mourinho’s fake “worry” hilarious, while also trolling him with a bit of Bitter Sweet Symphony on his Instagram story the same day.
It probably wasn’t lost on Morris that José mentioned only Willian and Kanté by name, and just as on day one back in August, talked down the quality and the mentality of the youth. And again, that doesn’t necessarily make Mourinho wrong, but in Jody’s eyes, it certainly makes him bitter — Mourinho’s thinly veiled insinuation is that of course he could do much better thanks to his pragmatism, etc.
So, we have Mourinho being Mourinho and Morris being Morris. What’s the problem?
Too much personality? OH THE HORROR. Please restrict your banter to corporate standards from now on.
Incidentally, the whole Us-Vs-Media thing is a page right out of Mourinho’s basic playbook.