Jose Mourinho and his careless statements are causing a serious problem in the Real Madrid dressing room. The Portuguese manager is tossing verbal grenades into the Spanish media as if it was the Normandy landings. Mourinho has always done things his own way, tending to surprise journalists with his comments, but he has usually been charming and amusing. Now, the special one is in danger of damaging his reputation, because the way he is behaving is lacking in class.
Real Madrid face the biggest game of the season so far tomorrow, and it seems as if Jose Mourinho will have fewer players to choose from than he would like. Luka Modric, who was the star of the show as Madrid came from behind to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, is a real doubt. To add to the problems, the Brazilian left back Marcelo looks like missing both legs.
Real Madrid had the chance to make up some ground on Barcelona in La Liga, after the Catalan club rested a number of first team players ahead of their Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. They could only manage a draw at relegation strugglers Celta Vigo, so a win for Madrid away to Real Zaragoza would close the gap to 11 points with nine games to play.
Real Zaragoza were also fighting against the drop, starting the game just two points above 18th place. They got a dream start, with Rodri shooting past Diego Lopez to stun the Madrid players. Mourinho had also made a few changes, starting with Essien, Modric, Callejon and Kaka instead of Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Ozil and Di Maria.
It was not just the fact that Real Madrid beat Barcelona at their own ground, but the comprehensive manner in which the victory was achieved that will have sent a stark warning to Manchester United. The situations are very similar. Both are two legged affairs, with the first leg at the Bernabeau ending all square at 1-1. If Real Madrid can get somewhere near the level of performance they produced at the Camp Nou last night, then United are going to struggle to live with them.
Jose Mourinho got some great news this week, when it was revealed that his keeper, the Spanish international Iker Casillas, has had the plaster removed from his hand and is looking good to be back a lot sooner than was predicted. The 30-year old keeper broke his finger in a cup game against Valencia two weeks ago and was operated on the next day. Medical experts predicted it would be three months before he could train properly or play again.