It has been an interesting last seven days in La Liga, Real Madrid lost to Levante and drew with Racing Santander in a matter of days, while Valencia proved that it can mix it with the big guns after playing out a pulsating 2-2 draw against Barca, who were fresh from dismantling Osasuna 8-0.
But before the crisis talk or its non existence, Mourinho had earlier, prior to the 1-0 defeat at Levante, been quoted in the Spanish media saying that Real Madrid’s main target this season as far as the Spanish La Liga title if concerned, would be to avoid relegation.
Of course it was meant to be a silly joke from the charismatic Portuguese coach, but even if his team won’t be fighting for its life but rather challenging for honors in the other half of the table, their last two results don’t give too much confidence to their faithful.
According to Spanish media, the self-anointed ‘Special One’ was trying to mock his opposite number at Barca, Pep Guardiola by stating that his side’s aim for the season is to avoid relegation.
“We will fight to stay in the first division and to take 40 points. Until we take 40 or more points our main objection is to avoid relegation.
By achieving this quickly, we will look sooner for other objectives. We must continue to take points,” Mourinho said.
Guardiola, whose dislike for Mourinho is well documented, had just a told press conference that it would be normal for his team, who won last season’s Liga and Champions League titles, to not win anything this season.
Real lost 1-0 to Levante, before drawing 0-0 to Racing in midweek thereby dropping to seventh in the table having made a blistering start to the season, which saw them win their opening two fixtures in some style.
The last results have put early pressure on Mourinho and his players but they can take solace from Barcelona’s dropped two points at Valencia in a thrilling match that did go a long way to demonstrate that this season’s title push won’t be a two-horse race after all.
A head of Saturday night’s visit of newly promoted Rayo Vallecano to the Santiago Bernabeu, pressure is mounting on the former Chelsea manager, who has been forced to deny claims that there is a looming crisis at the Bernabeu.
Real scored 11 goals in their opening two fixtures but has now gone two league matches without finding the back of the net.
“Some people are talking about a crisis, a dramatic situation in which we couldn’t even fight to stay up,’’ he said. ‘’There are people interested in talking about this crisis and people that just stick to the facts: that there is no crisis, rather that we have not played well the past week.
Some one will be quick to remind the doom mongers that Mourinho went through a similar patch with Inter Milan the year he won the Treble.
Or that people tend to get carried away by odd results. And that it’s at the end of the season that judgment should be passed.
In the same week, Cesc Fabregas put one into his former employers at the Emirates Stadium in London, revealing that he decided jump the sinking ship to challenge in major competitions as he thinks Arsenal no longer possess the quality required to aim for titles in England and in Europe.
“I want to be in a club that is able to win the big titles year after year and I don’t see that kind of future for Arsenal,” Fabregas was quoted in Sport Magazine. “I still have many feelings for Arsenal, but I fear that they won’t be able to push the other big clubs in England away.”
The World Cup winning midfielder, after seven years in the bright lights of London, completed a 35 million pound move back to his home town club, where he was taught how to kick a foot ball in competitive anger this season.
Having only the FA Cup winner’s medal to show off in seven years with Arsenal, Fabregas believes his former employers are no longer able to compete with the big clubs in England.
“I respect that Arsenal don’t have the same financial opportunities as the others, but it was part of my decision to leave that I find it hard to see Arsenal winning the Premier League or Champions League in the near future.”