"They have more quality than us," Mourinho said. "Their first team is a much better team than our second team.
"It's my mistake. I wanted to rest players after the game against Juventus and before the game against Napoli. I made these decisions, and in the end, they are better players than my players.”
For fans of the Premier League there must have been a little smile at what are very familiar quotes from Jose Mourinho, now manager of AS Roma.
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The Portuguese was speaking after his team were hammered 6-1 by Bodo/Glimt, the first instance in Mourinho’s career one of his teams has let in six. The response was classic Mourinho, saying it was his mistake but still slamming his players and he even managed to get a dig in at Bodo’s plastic pitch.
Incredibly some - probably younger or non-Premier League watching - Roma fans seemed surprised by this. However, fans of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were only too glad to re-set their expectations on social media. In order to find out more we got in touch with our colleague Simone Pace from Eurosport Italy to have a little Mourinho-focused chat.

José Mourinho - FK Bodö/Glimt vs. AS Rom

Image credit: Getty Images

Was there shock in Italy to Mourinho’s reaction?

Surely most Italian fans can’t have been too surprised to see Mourinho’s reaction? Particularly with the Premier League being the global behemoth it is. If there was shock to his rant, it was a small minority rather than the majority?

Gonzalo Villar durante Bodo Glimt-Roma - Conference League 2021-22

Image credit: Getty Images

“[Fans were] not at all shocked," says Pace. "Anyone who has watched some of the Premier League cannot be surprised. It was 'typical Jose'."

But some Roma fans seemed surprised?

"Some fans were, but not everyone," says Pace.
“There were a last few who still regarded Mourinho as the ‘Special One’ – and probably didn’t watch much of the Premier League in the last few years – but now they know.
Time flies, football changes, Mourinho is not that special anymore.
“This is nothing new from what we saw at Tottenham and even at Man United.”

Had Mourinho's history in Italy blurred what was expected of him?

The next question we asked Pace was whether a return to Italy - where he has enjoyed so much success - had heightened expectations. After all, the first few months had been going pretty well and the reaction to his arrival was one of pure delight.
“Rome is a very strange – and difficult – place to work,” says Pace.
The fans get excited very easily and in the same way they very easily get depressed.
“Things are black or white, there is no gray. Three wins in a row and it’s 'we are going to win the league', three defeats in a row and it changes to 'the manager failed and needs to be sacked, or the team needs to be rebuilt' and so on.
“This probably helps explain the 'overexcitement' in Rome when Mourinho arrived. He was a big manager and there were big expectations, and it also probably fed the idea that Roma were going to spend big. But the reality is: 1) they can't afford to spend that much and 2, The fact he won in Italy more than 10 years ago doesn’t mean that much - Mourinho doesn’t do miracles anymore.”

Is this a one-off?

The big question is whether or not Pace thinks that this is a one-off. Or does it signal Jose regressing to the mean, which would be an earlier turn for the worst than usual. For Pace, we’ll learn a lot more about the situation over the weekend.

José Mourinho (Roma)

Image credit: Getty Images

“You'll need to wait until Monday to find out the answer to this question. This weekend they will face Napoli, who are top of the table with eight wins from eight matches played.
“We will see what sort of impact Mourinho’s words had. If they play well and show a fighting spirit and get something from the game, then, it worked. If they play poorly and lose, well, good luck to the players…”
Good luck indeed!
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