The difference between Jose Mourinho in the press and with his players
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Jose Mourinho is a divisive character
Mourinho's appointment at Tottenham was understandably met with scepticism given how his last three jobs descended into chaos and internal battles with players, eventually rendering his position untenable.
Throughout his managerial career, Mourinho has supplied plenty of gems in press conferences, most notably dubbing himself "a special one," claiming Arsene Wenger is a "specialist in failure," and more recently, the "three for me, and two for them," rant while under criticism at Manchester United.
But the persona he conveys in the press is not exactly as he is behind closed doors. On this week's episode of Liquid Football on JOE, former Chelsea players Wayne Bridge and Carlton Cole drew on their experiences with the Portuguese, comparing his behaviour in public and in private.
"What he says to the press and what he says to players is totally different, Bridge said.
"He'll have his favourite [players], but he's always for the team," he added.
"He's always protected his players, but sometimes you can't be protected when you're playing shit."@WayneBridge and @CarltonCole1 discuss playing under Jose Mourinho and how his media persona differs to his character behind closed doors. pic.twitter.com/pYl5RUO4hh
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 26, 2019
Cole concurred, saying: "He has to have the team onside."
Cole has been on the receiving end of some of Mourinho's most scathing rants in the dressing room, too.
"He's always protected his players," the striker said. "But sometimes you can't be protected when you're playing shit."
Bridge also recalled an incident when Mourinho was critical of the left-back in training.
"I've been battered by him in training where he's on me, on me, on me, and I've actually turned around and said, 'What's your fucking problem?'"
Despite this profane altercation, there is no bad blood between Mourinho and Bridge. The manager even called Bridge from the dressing room after winning the FA Cup while Bridge was sidelined with injury.
"When I broke my leg, before that I was really struggling, but he put his arm around me and said 'you're playing really well."
Bridge was due to start against Barcelona in the Champions League soon after that but a leg break ruled him out long term.
"A few weeks later, we won the cup and he called me straight afterwards from the changing room. 'That was for you.'"