15 April 2011

Coincidence (part 2 of 2): Have some Soup

By Dr3

Human beings are not oranges. You don’t put oranges on a pillow for seven hours overnight and expect them to be rejuvenated; pulp and all, in the morning. This lunacy has been shoveled now, for far too facking long.

Paranoia of the mind usually runs in opposite circles to coincidence; one sees everything as being related and part of some deeper sinister plot, while the other dismisses everything as unrelated. Yet for some reason when it comes to this motherfu coach, both are boiled in one big stew of bullshit; a bullshit stew. Maybe even a soup. Supposedly the tyranny of Jose Mourinho coupled with the World Cup reduced Inter’s players to withered, salted-prune-esque creatures, incapable of any muscle functions. Supposedly, finally, the rest of the league has caught up to Inter in terms of quality, and the parody is over; real competition is back in the Serie A. Supposedly the Inter team is weaker now on the basis of ageing legs, and minds, 'needing' rejuvenation in the form of FIVE players, four months after winning a treble. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Rafa circus.

Of the starting eleven from last season’s champions league final, only four Inter players, played long enough in the World Cup to even be able to complain about work load; Wesley Sneijder, and the three Brazilians. The rest sadly, were either home before it even started, or home while it started. When we contrast this with the ‘Barcelona’ team that eventually won the World Cup, with the same players who have yet to lose a starting place since 2008, it becomes a little clearer why this ‘reasoning’, only serves as good ingredients in our colossus soup.

It’s all a coincidence as far as Rafa’s involvement. Yet, at the same time, it’s all inter-connected to Mourinho; that beast.

'Barcelona' played in six competitions, winning all six, right on the heels of winning the EURO 2008. They followed this with a League trophy and a not-so-unrespectable exit from the Champions League at the semifinal junction. Somehow, these men were able to find a blend between hard work and rest such that there was no talk of the human sauce being dried up, or players operating on dregs. Somehow there was no mass muscle injury list, from striker to goalkeeper. Somehow. Coincidentally. Nothing happened to a group of human beings in that situation. Across town, Inter win a treble; half of a sextuple. Half of their players are actually involved in an international tournament. Yet unlike the other humans in the comparatively worse situation, they wilt. It’s nothing to do with a new coach’s muscle work regime though, that’s coincidental, and it is instead all related to the well-known grueling nature of that Portuguese warlord. Unlike Barcelona players, apparently Inter’s players had never seen such a totalitarian approach to football. An all-encompassing football that required everyone to be as fluid in attack as they were in defense. Everyone defends, some attack; a kind of total-football, not as total as Barcelona’s. Yet, while Inter were actually not doing nearly as much running as their fellow humans, Inter’s players were squeezed dry. Interestingly, there was no impact on Barcelona’s players shifting up the gears between the work ethic under Rijkaard and Guardiola. Of course there’s also the reasoning that defending saps more energy than attacking, so maybe in defending so much, Inter players were burning themselves out even more; a concept that adds dumplings to the soup. While some question whether Barcelona’s players are on drugs considering their ludicrous fitness levels, others say that keeping the ball doesn’t require as much energy as defending, while other total-football aficionados claim that defending is ‘easy’. Of course, there’s also the ‘fact’ that Inter players probably weren’t strong enough to begin with such that their bodies were struggling in finally getting used to/adapting to such strength work; something that I won’t dignify with a response. Finally, there’s the Jose impact, where he is 'known' to leave teams in tatters, exploiting them like Coca Cola does Vietnamese kids. Did Chelsea have six players all out at the same time with muscle injures in 2006-2007(after the World Cup)? Did Chelsea’s players collapse into an abyss of tiredness and injuries? No? Where exactly does this Jose perception come from? When has any Jose Mourinho team ever had the ridiculous injury list that Inter had at the end of 2010 ALL related to muscle strains? Yet we recycle this malarkey, pardoning this motherfu coach.

Bewildered, dazed and confused I begin searching. Looking into the heavens I’m forced to ask why God? Why is this man afforded all of these luxuries? Is it that Istanbul wet dream? Can it really be his work with Rea Madrid’s primary-schoolers? The Valencia work? Is it his alluring speeches about ‘stats’ and ‘facts’? Maybe it’s his metaphors that make sense five weeks later? Maybe it’s the flushed, pink, blushing look he always seems to wear? Maybe it’s the way he cleans his glasses in bad times? Maybe it’s the way he took on Fergie? What is it? It certainly isn’t his record at Liverpool. So just what is it? People jump to his defense citing Inter’s reluctance to back him with purchases, pretending again that the signings of people like N’lol were coincidental, and somehow with one enamoring smirk a deep seated belief in him is cemented. Never have I ever seen a coach that can divide opinions the way he does. Inter fans and Liverpool fans alike have a section of Rafa cheerleaders. I still cannot explain it. How can there be a split decision on a coach? How can there be so many people believing that someone is a dimwit, while another group actively sympathizes? Is that even possible? Thinking a little deeper I realize that I’ve read about one other person like that before; Jesus.

And so, sadly it’s proven, Rafa worryingly divides people in the way Jesus did.

Coincidentally, Rafa’s arrival and management corresponded with; other teams becoming worthy opponents, players dropping as if hit with swine flu, Inter’s worst league position in five years, and Inter’s defense being abysmal (it got worse with Leonardo, but in his case the injury to Walter Samuel since Rafa is not an excuse, it's crazy Leo). At Liverpool coincidentally, a lot of money was spent building a team that in one year after his departure needed revamping, and is still being reconstructed. While Ciro Ferrara was fired as soon as things went pear-shaped despite his youth team success (please remember Juventus actually started as favorites that season with Diego in sensational form), Ancelotti despite his reputation ‘must-go’ for benching the Drog, Rafa, shouldn’t be fired. It was because of ownership issues. It was because of a lack of investment in an obviously depleted squad. It was because he wasn’t given enough money to spend over a large period of time. It was because of the Fergie bias, and other facts. It was because of Robbie Keane. It was because of salted-prune Inter players becoming a year older in one day. It was because of injuries. It was because he wasn't given enough control. The slow start at Liverpool was definitely Hodgsons fault, but at Inter, it was somehow because of what Mourinho did the season before and the World Cup.

Can’t you see? Can’t you see that given the time he needs, and the money he deserves that he will build a fortress, ushering in the good times? The sweet times? We would stand like a tower. A mountain. "A mountain of sugar". It’s all a coincidence. While bad performances follow him like flies do shit, the sympathizers remain. But never a man to shy away from waxing something metaphorical Rafa also had a riposte for all this coincidence talk. It’s “a saying in Spain” he quips; “White liquid in a bottle has to be milk”.

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