Más Mourbo: Rewind

[The following first appeared as a comment from SoccerMom in a long-ago BFB post. Since then, readers have requested repostings on various occasions. Well, kids, the Clásico might come late this year, but Santa’s arrived early!

This reprint is dedicated to our visiting Madriles, who have not been treated with the  courtesy and respect on which the BFB community prides itself. Although the post is dated, my estimation of Moudrid has not depreciated. RM is playing at the top of its game recently —  a game that relies on stalwart goalkeeping, physical defense, long midfield passes, quick counterattacks and psychological domination. The fact that the depth of your squad as well as your pockets makes your strategies cheap, your pace of play boring, your star striker delusional and your coach sociopathic — these are all personal opinions, and do not reflect those of other editors and/or the blog in general.

Feliç Clàssic, SoMa]

A madrista once walked into a blog and asked,
”What do we need?”

Fifi said a star. Kxevin says a heart. Iker says a defender … every once in a while … would be nice. TVE says a(nother) coach.

EE is like a trust-fund day-care college-prep, where the everyone is wealthy, beautiful and above average, but the teacher’s afraid of the kids and the dean is afraid of the parents who side with the kids.

If I were a madridista I’d walk out too. Marching. That’s not Fifi money, that’s socio money. The socios, the real fans, the ones from the barrio who take their tortilla sandwiches to the matcheses and puff on cigars and shout at the TV in bars — they love them some Raúl & Co. ‘There’s no happiness,’ croaked one portly fellow to TVE, ‘like waking up on a Saturday and remembering that Madrid– your Madrid– is going to play today’. That’s heart right there, hombre. And they don’t just want to win. They want to win well.

So there’s some young punks that flip Messi the bird from the sidelines. There’s also the old guard, the proud papá and his honorable son, standing up to applaud Ronaldinho at the Beu. That’s sportsmanship. That’s class. And for a team expenditure that could bail out Greece in a country with 20% unemployment, their blood rightly boils.

What is a Fifi to do? How do you solve a problem like Crynaldo? You pays your euros and you takes your chances. You cannot trade … because the only way to trade now is down. And you cannot trade down because EE is not Fifi and it is not Pelly and it is not some greying old duke like Cruyff. EE is Raúl and it is Iker and it is Guti and Sergio and now it is absolutely Crynaldo and probably Kaká and maybe even Benzemá too. Fifi knows this. Crynaldo knows this. And this makes it Pelly’s problem.

Operation Pelly is Mission Impossible. Kaká lets his wife (su MUJER, hombre) bitch that Pelly is a coward. What happens to Kaká? A little time out. Sergio says he will support Pelly heart and soul … as long as he’s there. Pelly says he will stay … as long as he’s allowed. As long as the players run the show and Fifi backs the players, Pelly isn’t a coach. He’s an au pair. For the lords of the flies.

Pelly’s out, there’s no doubt. But who can really make a difference? It’s not tactical. It’s not monetary. It’s not talent. It’s psyche. It’s Oedipal. Now think about your dad. What’s your dad like? I wanna meet that dad! Doo doo doo doo!

Right now you have the distant, greying, venerable kind of dad. The kind of dad Fifi said he wanted in Wegner but got in Pelly (thanks, boss). He doesn’t get pissed. He doesn’t get loud. He gets disappointed. He gets disgruntled. This works in smaller teams where the players try really, really hard. Sometimes this is golden, like Bernd at Getafe. Sometimes this is psychodrama, like Pelly at Villareal. But at EE, the players get sassy and the pooch, as Kxevin says, gets screwed.

You can also get the big-brother kind of dad. The guy who’s been there, who’s done that, who gets you, man. He’s young and he’s energetic and he’s cool. He actually works out with you at practice instead of hanging around in sweats like the embarrassingly vital grandpa in the retirement community. When this is on, the team feels together, they feel lively, they feel on. This is the Pep @ Barca kind of coach. When it’s off, they feel lost, undisciplined, and out of control. This is the later-Rijkaard @ Barca or now Unai @ Valencia kind of coach. But for this to work the coach has to be the cool kid. When your unruly star is the coolest kid in the class ever, there is no way Coach will be cooler.

No, you cannot have an honorable old-man type of dad, and you cannot have a hip, cool with-it type of dad. You need a dysfunctional dad, the kind of dad who will not guide you from afar or hang with you when you’re down. You need the kind of dad who will send you into years of later therapy. You need a real asshole.

Asshole dads come in two varieties: the emotionally-deprived, mentally-absent dad and the borderline-psychotic narcissist dad. We’ve already seen Exhibit A in Capello, and we all know how that turned out. They won La Liga. But no one can get behind Capello because he is so dry and apart and there is no way to relate to him. Capello would call Crynaldo on the nonsense, but Fifi will back Crynaldo because Fifi is more CR7 than CPO.

That leaves us one option. An asshole. A narcissistic, borderline-psychotic, evil-genius asshole. We don’t need a guy who will tolerate CR7. We don’t need a guy who will gently guide him into sportsmanlike maturity. And we don’t need a guy who will pretend not to notice the tantrum because ‘bad attention is still attention’. No, we need a man who will out-asshole every asshole on his team, who can ratchet it up and scare the crap out of them, and then get to Fifi and elaborate and fabricate to the point that the Prez’s head will spin and he will start signing this and that before Raúl can knock gently on the door. We need someone who will argue with the fans, who will demand they feel grateful to him, someone who will take on the team as his own and not on loan.

And even better if that someone knows his rivals inside out, who goes to their games and studies their strategies and practically wrings his hands in the stands as he plots against them … because when EE win, and win it all, and win against them, then, THEN the fans will fill the Beu, THEN Fifi will pop the champagne, THEN TVE will slobber all over itself drooling again, and CR7 himself will bow his head and say he owes it all to him …

And that man, my friends, is our very own evil genius, our next rival in Italy and my bet for our man in Madrid …

MouMou, Dr. Mouriarty, Mourinho.

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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. K
    November 27, 2010

    EE is like a trust-fund day-care college-prep, where the everyone is wealthy, beautiful and above average, but the teacher’s afraid of the kids and the dean is afraid of the parents who side with the kids.

    Epic 😀

    • sab
      November 27, 2010

      thats what he feeds on.u may like or dislike him but cant ignore him.he gets under the opposition skin.an evil one but a genious

  2. K
    November 27, 2010

    wow and did I get ‘Hectored’? I mean i wrote a pretty lo–ng post in the previous topic and whooosh along comes this piece of poetry!

  3. MoSSi
    November 27, 2010

    Some Barcahumor! Funny as hell, especially 00:52!


  4. Goo
    November 27, 2010

    Brilliant posts all around – Isaiah’s, Euler’s and this. I thought I couldn’t anticipate this clasico any more than I did, but the morbo keeps on coming and Monday won’t come soon enough.

  5. K
    November 27, 2010

    I’d like to re-post what I did on Euler’s first post here if that’s ok..I’d really like to put this view across.
    Oh and i’m so happy that there is no word limit in the commenting space..Many thanks

    ahh now that I have read the post properly I have in mind the following apsects of a typical Mou team*:

    1. Score very quickly and sit back OR Stand your ground for the majority and look for a late goal by introducing fast players at the end of the game: One typical facet of Mou’s teams when they play a higher level/superior opponent is that they like to get that early goal so that they can set up defensive shop for the rest of the match. It is not an exciting way of play but it is certainly an effective one. A counter-objective is the ‘Italian’ strategy of not losing before looking to win. So the main times that our defense has to be extra careful should be the first 20 and the last 10 which is when Mou will look to go for the kill.
    How to counter this? The same way that Barca has played for the past 2-3 seasons tells me one simple fact. The entire dynamic of the Barca team specifically Pep’s Barca depends on Scoring early and Not conceeding ie not being behind for any sustained period of time because as lethal we are at 0-0 we are especially vulnerable at 0-1 maybe because this team gets nervous when they are behind.
    So score quickly and ruthlessly. And please FFS do not concede cheap goals.

    2. Compressing the space/midfield of the opponent: And no this is not analogous to pressure as Barca know. It is rather having a back 6 (4 man defense+ 2 man holding nidfield) crush any attack that comes toward them via midfield ( I am looking at your mazy midfield dribbles Leo). Also, they compress the defense whereby the opposing wingers are generally free to play crosses but which the RM (EE?) defenders are happy to defend against as they have both height and strength in defense.
    How to counter this? Make Messi play up as high as possible initially and have Iniesta play that roving role. Because as deadly Messi is with his dribbling he has that one-dribble-too-much tendency which Iniesta lacks. Another way would be to actually play Iniesta on teh right wing with Messi as the midfield man but that’s the sort of tactic Pep prefers to use when the match is won.

    3. Cut off Xabi Alonso: Crynaldo is their talisman but the bearded Basque is their heartbeat. Stop the heart and constrict their respiration. So, get Villa/Pedro and Busquets to make his life living hell by giving him no space to send one of his trademark diagonals because Alonso’s long range passing is par excellence but his short passes are the ones that can be intercepted. Since he plays slighlt to the left of midfield I assume it will Pedro’s job to suffocate him. Also Pedro’s a yellow card magnet which can always help. This is where I’d actually advocate playing Mascherano who’s a known in-your-face midfielder who knows how to play this role of suffocating the opposition’s playmaker.

    4. Make Crynaldo angtsy: How? cut-off his supply. Win a one on one with him (risky). Get under his skin by continuously goading him (Alves). In general get his panties tied up in a bunch. A frustrated Crynaldo is a “I will take on 11 players and 90k + jeering, booing, baying for blood fans” Crynaldo. Do that and you dent his effectiveness.

    This is how I think we should play this game.

    1,2 are Mou’s typical tactics and 3,4 are specific ways of our play.

    *These are just my opinions and are subject to rebuttal 😀

    • Helge
      November 27, 2010

      I especially like #4 😀

      I’d be surprised if Real pushed for an early goal, because our team is too great for doing that (although Villarreal showed several times that it does work, I just don’t think Real and Mou have the guts to do so). The worst case scenario is Real Madrid sitting back from the beginning AND scoring an early goal through a counter-attack and/or a mistake from us…

    • blitzen
      November 27, 2010

      I think your #3 is the key. We need to sit on Xabi Alonso and sit on him hard. He is the one who controls RM’s game, and if he can’t get the ball they won’t be able to do anything.

  6. cliveee
    November 27, 2010

    beautiful, SoMa! That’s the best build-up to the Clasic.

  7. Lev
    November 27, 2010

    great post soccerma!

    one question remains: in a battle of assholeness between ME-rinho and el capello de tutti los capis, who would come out on top?

    • Nik
      November 27, 2010

      Mou, hands down. Don’t think anyone is better than him with the scheming mind games. Really, he’s made it into an art form by now.

  8. blitzen
    November 27, 2010

    Mouriarty! Love it.

    So how do you all think Mou’s psychological games are working? He certainly has the press eating out of his hand and the Madrid faithful bowing at his feet. But I don’t think his efforts at getting under the skins of his opponents are working out for him. Pep and the Barca players just refuse to be drawn into responding to him, and I think that is really frustrating for him.

  9. stowe
    November 27, 2010

    SoMa, I understood that one and my brain doesn’t hurt! YES! (fist-pump)

  10. K
    November 27, 2010

    Oh and Re: the post

    It is a wonderful sketching of Mou’s character..

    Mou’s a man-child and Barca’s the Gift he was denied. Now he loves the candy and hates it in equal measure. Yet the Gift is unaffected by his lov(loath)ing. It only seeks to be in the hands of the worthy.

    The worthy is one bearded, bald guy who wants his men to run, battle and win..and win the right way. He guides this young knight to venture into the darkness and quell it with his dazzling talent. With the young man, there are his fellow-soldiers. They are in no-way inferior nor superior to him. They are just a group of people with a common ideology.

    Mou(llum) doesn’t like this, does he, Preciouss? No he doesn’t. He wants the Gift all to himself. So that he can hoard it, and defend it by himself for it is the world against him. He wants the Gift but he cannot have it. So what will the Man-child do? He will try to destroy the Gift. For it is his way of thinking. No one should what he could not.

    But you forget one thing ‘Translator’, the Gift is bigger, better and much more protected now. The Gift has become a standard because of the bald, bearded man and his young protege. Mou(llum) there is no victory in this fight for you. You will end up destroying yourself.

  11. Kari
    November 27, 2010

    Clasico. overload. YESH!

    Posts are coming thick and fast and awesomer than ever before.

    Video for Euler’s post:

    “There she goes…There she goes again…”


  12. Helge
    November 27, 2010

    Mmh… people claiming la Liga is a 2 horse race, other teams don’t have class, EPL is much more competitive but ManU leads 7-0 against Blackburn, Chelsea started with like 18-1 goals in 3 matches etc. 😀
    Oh yeah, and tomorrow English press will nominate Berbatov for WPotY because he scored 5 goals (so far).

  13. blitzen
    November 27, 2010

    The Barcelona B game vs Betis has been suspended due to heavy rain. No word yet on rescheduling.

    In other news, Man U is hammering Blackburn Rovers 7-0 with 20 minutes left to play. Dimitar Berbatov has scored 5, yes 5!, of the goals, Rooney none. Which makes me chuckle.

    • K
      November 27, 2010

      are you seeing the game?
      how is Shrek playing?

      • blitzen
        November 27, 2010

        Rooney is playing well, but the real stars of the game have been Nani and Berbatov. Blackburn just scored a consolation goal.

  14. Kari
    November 27, 2010

    Oh and considering everyone’s burning hatred for Thong Boy, here’s a .gif of him just for you. It’s an old one and I’m pretty sure everyone’s seen it, but it’s a classic nonetheless.

    “When the ref looks the other way…”


    This one is hilarious because of Andres’ look at the end. Challenge for the masses : What is Iniesta saying?


  15. sab
    November 27, 2010

    have any1 seen bolton wanderers 2nd goal against bpool.thats a fantastic team goal reminiscient of barca.a goalzo.
    Regarding classico i think it will be a tight game.

  16. Kurt
    November 27, 2010

    Hi everyone. I haven’t posted in awhile, but I lurk and read all the brilliant posts all the time anyway. Whenever I read YouTube comment boards, I get terribly depressed by the state of humanity, so thanks to you all for reaffirming that insight, civility, and proper punctuation can indeed exist (all at the same time!) in public online forums. (Notice that 90% of pre-Clasico EE vistors will fail to offer any of these…lolz, th0se guyz r so retarted!!1!)

    So check it: I’m going to be in Barcelona in a few weeks, and I want to witness Messi’s 5 goals (right?) against Real Sociedad on the 12th. Any advice about buying tickets? I’m interested in the cheap ones, I’m not a soci, and I hear there are a lot of counterfeits and overpriced tickets out there. Thanks for any input!

    • Kxevin
      November 27, 2010

      Just visit the official site, Kurt, or for Sociedad you should be able to walk up on match day and get a ticket. It’s only for El Clasic that ticketing is so insane. For everything else, 97,000 people is a lot of seats. El Clasic is the only match that always sells out.

      • Kurt
        November 27, 2010

        Thanks Kxevin, appreciated. I guess I imagined that buying any Barca ticket would be equally epic as the pilgrimage itself, replete with feats of strength worthy of Milito…not just rolling up to a ticket window an hour before the game 😀 Well, that makes things easier.

  17. K
    November 27, 2010

    Ok so i forwarded the link to this post to some blancos and here are the responses:

    1. tht post is more like a statement from a depression minded/sadist person…Frankly I dont see any brilliance in it other than moaning, bitching, abusing everything when things are’nt working according to his wish…much like preciado’s swine comment !!!

    2. that was a totally idiotic post
    Seriously cant a cule write a sentence about madrid without abusing and namecalling,the whole credibility of the post goes out the window when you do silly name calling to degrade your opponents.

    3. I was going to write “Cursed are the eyes that have to read that in a Madrid community” after I read that.
    …… uh-oh, Oops!

    how do you respond to such closed-mindedness

    • blitzen
      November 27, 2010

      Well what did you expect? They are hardly going to fall all over themselves congratulating SoMa on her writing skills.

      Quit poking the Madridistas with a stick or they might take it as an invitation to come in here and stir things up. 🙂

    • SoccerMom
      November 27, 2010

      Hi K,

      Well, I would respond that I originally wrote this post back in April 2010 when Pelligrini was flailing and Madrid fans were wandering over BFB way to ask what needed to change in order for RM to realize its full potential.

      And this was my answer.

      So even though I may not be a fan of Mourinho, I did believe then, and still do today, that he is the best man for the job given the temperament of the owner and his squad!

      Also I don’t mind Mou in the hou (aka Camp Nou) because before it was morbo and now it is … MOURBO.

  18. Victor
    November 27, 2010

    Lovely piece SoMa, thanks very much!

  19. Eklavya
    November 27, 2010

    SoMa do you still have the link to the post where you originally posted this? To read the comments following this one 🙂

    • Urska
      November 27, 2010

      i think you are looking for this **http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/2834/news-day-april-12-2010/

      probbably it was best comment ever posted on this site. SoMa FTW 🙂

      • Kxevin
        November 27, 2010

        That was also one of the comments that got the psychic ball rolling toward SoMa becoming part of the production team. That she’s gotten even better just warms my watching-El-Clasic-on-TV-ass heart. 😀

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