Fixture scheduling favours Barcelona, bemoans Mourinho

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Feb 5th, 2013
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FBL-ESP-LIGA-GETAFE-REAL-MADRIDJose Mourinho hit out at La Liga’s scheduling after watching his Real Madrid side fall to their fifth league defeat of the season at Granada over the weekend.

The reigning champions were beaten by an own goal from Cristiano Ronaldo – a misplaced defensive header from a corner in the 22nd minute – to give Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz a dream first game in charge.

Worryingly for Mourinho, his side mustered just four shots on target against a side who had won one of their previous four games.

But, as he has done after previous defeats, Mourinho managed to find a reason to suggest that his team receives unfair treatment in comparison to rivals Barca

This time it was the scheduling of fixtures that came under fire, with Mourinho unhappy that his team had to play on Saturday while Barca were given an extra day’s rest following their Copa del Rey Clasico on Wednesday night.

“One thing that has been clear for a long time is that there are teams that do not have any control over their schedules and the planning of the matches.

“Wednesday was an important match and a tremendous physical effort for both teams, but one plays on Saturday, the other on Sunday.”

Mourinho risked more internal discord by blasting Angel di Maria for failing to play through an injury late in the game, accusing the Argentine winger of cowardice. He said: “If the team is losing and there are only a few minutes left then, if the injury is not serious, he has to make a sacrifice and play on even if he is in pain.”

On the game itself, Mourinho blamed his side’s wretched first half display for the defeat which leaves his side 16 points behind Barca in the table after the Catalans’ 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday.

“The result bothers me because there have been too many defeats. But the first half performance bothers me more because it was horrible. In the second half we dominated but it wasn’t enough. The result is fair.

“Granada scored their goal and defended with everything they had. They have a new coach, new players and did everything they could to get this result.”

Madrid have now dropped 23 points this season, compared with 14 in their entire title-winning campaign last term. With a heavy degree of irony, Mourinho also suggested that he should be fully blamed for the result.

“You lot [the media] always say the same thing,” he complained. “When we win and play well then it happens by itself, but when we don’t it’s the coach’s responsibility. We lost and did not play well, so I’m the one responsible.”

WHAT’S GONE WRONG AT MADRID?

>> Lack of focus: No matter what they might say to the contrary, Madrid have mentally given up on the La Liga and are saving their mental and physical energy for the cup competitions.

>> Internal discord: An unhappy and divided dressing room with players who have no respect for their manager is a sure recipe for disaster. And this is one horribly dysfunctional unit.

>> Over-reliance on Ronaldo: When the Portuguese star doesn’t fire, nobody else is stepping up. Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema have been particularly poor, combining for only four league goals in the last two months.

>> Luka Modric: At his current rate, Modric will be remembered as one of Madrid’s worst ever signings. He was supposed to provide an alternative option to Mesut Ozil, but has failed abysmally.

>> Jose Mourinho: This has been an awful season for Mourinho, who has succeeded only in upsetting everybody around him: players, fans, club hierarchy and media. That can only lead to failure.

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