Thursday, 19 January 2012
Beauty and the Beast
In last night's latest 'El Clasico' match between Real Madrid and Barcelona - the Catalan team ran out deserved winners again - beating the Madrillenos 1-2 on their own home ground.
Lots of skill was on show - from both teams at times.
But the abiding memory of the game was an ugly incident involving a Madrid player - Pepe - who stamped his boot quite deliberately on Lionel Messi's defenceless, outstretched hand.
Now the responsibility for the often thuggish behaviour of the Real Madrid team - lies squarely with their coach - Jose Mourinho - who is far from special these days.
Mourinho's marauders tend to play ugly and dirty when things go against them - and their lack of discipline on the field of play - stems from the poor leadership of Mourinho.
Who seems to be adopting a vulgar 'win at any costs mentality' these days - a far cry from the beautiful game.
The bottom line is that if Mourinho fails to condemn blatant cheating and violent conduct from his own players - then he is encouraging their behaviour.
And turning a blind eye is what Mourinho did last night - unless he wakes up today and punishes Pepe - a real brute of a player.
But I see little chance of that - because on the evidence of last night Mourinho believes his team can't win by skill alone - and therefore have to rely upon foul play of the worst kind.
I hope Barcelona beat them again on the return leg next week - because that would be the best response of all.