Mourinho not bothered if Real Madrid lose to Barcelona
Jose Mourinho’s desire is not necessarily for Real Madrid to reverse their 3-2 aggregate deficit to Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana, but to establish if his side have overcome their shock 2-1 defeat to Getafe.
While a 1-1 draw with Valencia on the opening weekend of the season and defeat to Barca inside the Nou Camp were not particularly concerning, Sunday’s loss at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez has prompted frowns from inside the Bernabeu.
The signing of Luka Modric on Monday helped deflect much of the attention away from the performance, which Mourinho at the time deemed “unacceptable”, but the Portuguese is hoping to see a change of attittude tonight.
“For me the only problem is if the difference in performance between the first two games and the last match remains, that’s the only problem,” he said. “Win the Super Cup, not win the Super Cup. Beat Barca, not beat Barca. None of that is important to me right now.
“My priority right now is to know whether the attitude we had against Getafe was a chance happening or whether it’s a situation that has had consequences on the psychological profile of some players. That for me is the fundamental thing.”
The dismal start has been Mourinho’s worst to a season in his 12-year coaching career and not since starting his first full season with Uniao de Leiria in 2001, has the Portuguese failed to win any of his first three matches.
While below-par individual displays – particularly that of Cristiano Ronaldo – have been highlighted there has been an overall sense in Spain that this Madrid team has looked lethargic.
In both the Valencia and Getafe games, Madrid had numerous opportunities to seize victory but were thwarted by excellent goalkeeping but mainly bad finishing.
Before the season Mourinho was asked if the motivation of his players would be a problem, a charge he swiftly rejected, but one that is looking slightly prophetic.
There has been little alteration to the squad until the arrival of Modric from Tottenham but Mourinho has hinted there may be more movement before Friday’s transfer deadline.
“Our transfer campaign is not over until we have a full squad,” Mourinho added. “We are very much still open to buy and sell until we have the required players, and there are still issues to address at this time.”
Modric’s lack of football since the end of Euro 2012, having just played 23 minutes for Croatia in a friendly against Switzerland on August 15, means he’s highly unlikely to start.
The Croatian international should however be on the bench with Mourinho aware it will take a few weeks before fans starts to see the best of the 26-year-old.
He added: “Modric played a few minutes in a friendly with Croatia, but he will be ready to play soon as he has only trained a little bit at this stage.
“We have signed a player in a position that we are comfortable in, but we waited a long time to sign him because he was top of our list to play there.”
Modric will become the fourth Croatian to play for Madrid after Robert Prosenecki, Davor Suker and Robert Jarni, who has backed his countryman to be a huge success at the club.
Jarni said: “Modric is making the move to Spain at the perfect moment in his career. He is very mature and knows how it is to play in one of Europe’s top leagues. His first weeks at the club will not be easy, but he will be a great addition to Jose Mourinho’s team.”
SPORT360° VERDICT – Real Madrid v Barcelona (Agg: 2-3)
Form dictates this will be a Barcelona victory although Madrid have not been quite as bad as results suggest nor Barca quite as good.
Tito Vilanova’s side looked defensively ragged at times against both Sociedad and Osasuna, while Madrid really should have scored more than their solitary goals in the Valencia and Getafe matches.
These matches are rarely starved of goals and a high-scoring draw looks a sensible outcome, 2-2.