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Jose Mourinho has already seen his bleak future

And it made him cry.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

It is a Saturday afternoon in East London and Jose Mourinho is sad.

The rain hasn't started yet. It will beat down less than an hour later when Arsenal take on Everton, but before that, as Mourinho stands in the director's box dead-eyed and practically emotionless, save for the the drooping frown that has become his prominent facial feature this season, it feels as if it should be raining. He is watching his team lose yet another game and, again, he is powerless.

This is a new sensation for the manager, this vulnerability. Mourinho is accustomed to being the special one, who manipulates each opposition player and breaks down managerial adversaries, but this year has been a tactical failure that has seen him lay blame anywhere else. Today, it is the referees who are weak and naive, not the Portuguese.

He suffered through the Kurt Zouma header that was, and then wasn't, a goal -- the one abolished by technology. He endured the Cesc Fabregas' shot that was and then was not a goal. The one negated by the linesman's flag. The sending off of Nemanja Matic is the final straw. Mourinho wants his power back. He is away from his team now precisely to relay that message to the referees in their private locker room at halftime.

It's not hard to imagine him at this door that separates him from the conspirators. They are his natural enemies, the shadows behind the infamous Campaign against Chelsea. Mourinho is a man of detail and preparedness; they wield the power of luck.

He's leaning at the door, his left hand in his pocket as is his habit, smirking and shaking his head. These men need to come to their senses. And maybe when Jonathan Moss, the referee, the author of this day's unhappiness -- a man who directed the manager to the dugout in March of 2014 as fourth official in a defeat against Aston Villa -- comes to the door to answer the precarious knocking, Mourinho looks at him in the way of one who shares a secret.

Mourinho has no friends in football, but he and Moss share history. Repressing a chuckle, maybe Mourinho recites the same words that came to him after the 1-3 loss to Southampton some weeks ago. "Look, I think you know me and I think I don’t run away from responsibilities. I think, first of all I want to say that because we are in such a bad moment I think you shouldn’t be afraid to be also honest because when we are in the top there is quite a big pleasure to put us down, but when we are so down I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say clearly that referees (you) are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea."

Football is a game of inches. He knows this and he assures Moss that he is aware of the difficulty of his profession. Jose puts his hands on his own chest, makes eye contact with his enemy and asks him to now also think of the grim ... no, challenging position that he's been forced in. It's never grim, not for the greatest manager in Chelsea's history, simply the most difficult obstacle he's ever faced.

Mourinho's no longer talking to the man who will usher him into the stands again, he's speaking into the universe. He parlays for justice, for fairness; to rid him of the pain of watching another of his players, Matic, again saunter towards the locker room under the burden of a red card. Of course he queries whether such luck would befall Arsene Wenger, another enemy, and in that instant answers his own rhetoric with a scoff. The man in North London lives under no such pressure.

Or maybe Mourinho doesn't do any of this. Maybe he barges into the room, full of white-hot fury, rants on about the injustices that have been dealt to him, swears at Moss, who is not really Moss, but an apparition of everything that has worked against him this season: the order of referees, Wenger, his own players, the transfer committee of Chelsea who denied him the players that he wanted, the medical staff still and the world that forever takes a stand against him.

That thought dissipates as he makes his way into the director's box for the second half. He bypasses fans who take pictures, insult and laugh at him. He doesn't see any of them. He sits next to first-team coach Silvino Louro who was sent off in the first half, and the assistant is still raging enough for the both of them. Jose Mourinho slouches; he doesn't look like himself.

His glassy eyes stare forward at the game, and maybe even beyond it to the future. This man is no longer the brash young Jose who, full of ideas and the confidence to bring the world to its knees with his genius, lifted Porto to Champions League glory. Nor is he the deity of Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba, who each once wept into his arms and pledged that they would die for the manager. He is no longer the man who conquered Italy, the one who stood in the middle of the Camp Nou, drenched by sprinklers, raising a solitary finger to the skies to signify that he was number one after beating the proclaimed best team in the world.

The fans would never laugh at that man, he stood far too tall and was more mythical than tangible. But now Mourinho has fallen and, as people do to dethroned idols, they are mocking him. He's staring through their fingers and camera phones at his team as they equalize. He doesn't celebrate, he doesn't notice.

When Andy Carroll, the stallion of a man, scores a foregone header to win the game for West Ham, Mourinho is dwarfed by the celebrating Hammers fans. He's barely visible, but he exists, as small as he can be with his head turned away from the game and that impassive, distanced look on his face. The man who had said that every injury to Chelsea pains him twice over, first as a manager and secondly as a fan, looks defeated:

After the game, members of the media wait for a long time for the manager's postgame press conference. They wait and wait and the man who has always had something to say, someone to accuse, an explanation, doesn't show. No one does, the team has enforced a media blackout.

As they realize this, Jose Mourinho has already boarded the team bus. He is sitting alone and he is sad. It is finally beginning to rain.


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