‘TheHardTackle Satire’ is a semi-regular column which takes potshots at anything and anyone even remotely associated with football. With no pretensions about wanting to be taken seriously, ‘TheHardTackle Satire’ parodies, lampoons and jests at the people who make the beautiful game tick – both on and off the field.

“How did Chelsea get so bad?” Mourinho moaned, as he lay spread-eagled on his bed.

“If I wanted a club with silly hobbits as midfielders, ball possession stats as useless as elections in North Korea, and strikers with lesser aggression in them than an ‘N Sync song, I’d have coached Arsenal”, he reasoned.

“Actually, the Gunners have improved. They’ve gotten tougher, but Chelsea and you… you’ve regressed”, the other voice in the room chimed in.

Jose MourinhoMourinho paused for a while and nodded, “I have regressed. I just don’t understand this whole new-fangled nonsense of playing with flair and fairy dust. Every time Hazard tries something fancy, I just want to throw a boot at him and blame Fergie.”

“Who’d you rather have?” the voice asked.

“Well, anyone! Suddenly, even Michael Ballack seems like such a great option. He was big, blunt, imposing and never backed down. And that was just him during the contract negotiations. He was awful with the ball”, Jose recalled.

“He never scored and only existed to make Lampard look better than he really was. But AT LEAST I understood the guy. I knew when Ballack rubbed his tummy, and pointed at his mouth, he wanted another plate of fries sent his way. But Juan Mata? The guy is inscrutable. I’ve kicked him to the curb, sidelined him on the Chelsea bench, tried to wreck his career and poison his daily glass of milk. And yet… all he does is go on and on, about he wants to prove himself to me.”

“Don’t you want him to?” the reassuring voice reasoned back.

“No. Gawd, no. He’s been touched by Benitez. And you know what that means. It’s like an infection, and it needed to be treated for Chelsea’s sake”, Mourinho seemed absolutely sure.

The voice seemed concerned, “You’re so sure he was going to fail, that you worked overtime to make it happen? It’s a bit like a self-fulfilling prophesy isn’t it?”

“Well, of course. My prophecies have to come true. Who did you think I am? Pele?”, Mourinho retorted indignantly.

“It’s only matter a time before the crowd turns on you. You sidelined their favorite player. True Blues can be a fickle lot”, the voice in the room offered rather apologetically.

“I thought of that too. So I figured I’d turn the tables on them. That’s why I went on record calling all of them an old, boring bunch and saying we needed younger people in the crowd”, Mourinho pointed out smugly.

“So The Pensioners hate the pensioners now?” the voice gently ribbed him.

“Hey, I don’t discriminate on age, alright? I just want a more energetic set of Chelsea fans, the kind of fans who sang with a gusto from years long gone, when we had nothing to sing for”, Mourinho reminisced.

“You mean the days when Stamford Bridge reverberated with Fascist anthems?” the voice chuckled.

“Whose side are you even on?” Mourinho bristled.

Chelsea“I mean, look, it’s no secret Frank can barely walk these days. I blame Christine Bleakley. She calls him her ‘legend’ at home. And they cuddle up at night watching old Frankenstein movies, and Super Frankie always gets emotional when the mad scientist runs around screaming “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”. He thinks it’s a metaphor for his career. And that just makes him feel even older. I mean whatever happened to terms of endearment like ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’, and watching movies like Sex and The City?” Mourinho trailed off.

“It’s a little troubling you’re so involved in your players’ love lives”, the voice smirked.

“I just read this stuff in Wenger’s diary. And in any case, I’m bound by contract to keep an eye on Terry’s. We don’t want him sinking the team’s fortunes down with him, again”, Mourinho interjected. “He’s gotten so slow, I tell him the Chelsea game’s on Friday, just so that he makes it on time for Super Sunday.”.

“What about all the young talent?” the voice asked.

“Oh, the usual. We offload them at the first sign of promise. We don’t want to have to do anything with their development. They’re so clingy at that age, it’s sickening. Looking for a father figure and a role-model. Yep, this is Chelsea – we got none of that here. We prefer older, washed-up players because at least they don’t have daddy issues”, Mourinho insisted.

“And the stubborn brats who insisted on staying, were scared off when Ashley came to the Chelsea Halloween party dressed as himself from 2011”.

“That’s not very scary”, the voice countered.

“He came with an air rifle”, Mourinho dead-panned.

“Hmmm… Do you think you’ll still have a job come season-end?” the voice inquired.

“December or May? Roman still thinks the season ends in December. He was also sure the world would end in 2012. That’s why he appointed Benitez as coach”, Mourinho offered helpfully.

“I wouldn’t blame him even if he did give you the pink slip. Chelsea should’ve won this league by now. Moyes wanted Everton to go above United so bad, that he took the United job. Pellegrini only holds a job as long as you don’t want it. Villas-Boas is so awful at White Hart Lane, Porto claims he coached Benfica instead. Your biggest threat is Wenger who, everyone knows, develops an intense allergy to silverware in the summer. And there’s that current Top 4 side that will undoubtedly return to its rightful spot in mid-table by February.”

“Southhampton?” Mouinho asked.

“No, Liverpool. Don’t screw this up. Just get your **** together”, the voice muttered.

“I really appreciate your voice of reason. It’s so great that I have you in the dugout right behind me”, Mourinho replied.

“Sure Dad, anytime. Just don’t jump on me in public again”, the voice said.