So, obviously we don’t need to talk about the result, nor about the ludicrous run of erroneous decisions that made it happen, since they’re mere details. We could just sit back in silence and watch the conspiracy unfold, as Jose decreed, but annoyingly, there’s a chorus of douchebags out there who claim that since he’s been crying wolf all season he’s not allowed to complain when faced with legitimate refereeing balls-ups of colossal proportions. Well, that’s not how I remember that particular fable.
As far as I remember, the little boy who cried wolf is set in a village surrounded by some kind of wolf-infested woodlands – we know it’s wolf-infested because they have a village rapid response unit that deploys the moment anyone shouts ‘Wolf!’ Think about it, if someone shouted wolf outside your home, how many people do you expect would run out with pitchforks?
So, given the predatory nature of the surroundings, doesn’t it strike you as a little odd that the person chosen to stand outside village walls to protect a flock of wolf-bait is a lone little boy?
Imagine if you were that kid, unarmed, unaided, asked to protect a large, erratic assortment of wolf-food from a bloodthirsty population of predators. Needless to say you’d brick yourself. The slightest twitch in the leaves, a snapped branch, and you’d be back at the village shouting ‘Wolf!’ Of course you would, otherwise you’d be dead.
Well, it didn’t make any difference, the kid complained, got ignored, and wound up savaged by wild beasts.
So what’s the moral of that story? See, I’m less in ‘don’t raise false alarms’ camp and more in the ‘occasional child sacrifice is a cheap way to maintain livestock’ camp. It’s a tough moral, sure, but life was harder in those days.
Now obviously this is a parable, and my interpretation isn’t trying to suggest that Jose’s conspiracy theory is genuine, but the way I see it, that little boy should have cried wolf straight off the bat, and when the villagers pointed out there was no wolf, he might have said, oh great, in which case you guys won’t mind taking my spot for me then, right?
In Mourinho terms this basically means the best course of action is to ignore the outrageous refereeing decisions – the ungiven penalties and the overzealous three-match bans – and instead just make sure the team puts four goals past each opponent before easing off the gas. That way the wolves can’t catch us.
Injustices aside, we should probably be grateful for Matic’s three-game ban. If you think about it, it’s way better than the career-ending snap we might otherwise be talking about.