Friday Drop: Good week for Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho

The late Barry White warbled 'my first, my last, my everything'. It's a line that Portuguese trophy-winning machine Jose Mourinho would happily apply to Chelsea FC.

Mourinho: Custard Cream techniques
Mourinho: Custard Cream techniques

Despite no longer being in the employ of the club, this enduring love affair still smoulders. Since leaving the Kings Road club over two years ago, the Premier League press pack has missed it's suave, provocateur-in-chief. The self styled ‘Special One' swooped in from Milan to taunt his old club with a special Champions League victory this week. "Egotistical, cynical and brilliant. Welcome back" simpered Matt Dickinson in The Times.

The boy was back in town and the media love-in got underway. ‘Before the game I know everybody and love everybody' said the great man, all designer stubble and Algarve tan. He even sought out the beloved groundsman who had brought him some of his favourite custard creams as a present. ‘Jose takes the biscuit' hooted The Sun predictably. The match press conferences were fun again. Oh Jose, where have you been? Taking us through a roller coaster of oratory, from mock humility (‘I won't celebrate if we score', we got a fist pump) to the pure theatre of exiting down the tunnel before the final whistle. Can you guess where all the cameras pointed?

In a world of corporate platitudes and tedious interview responses, Mourinho is a flash of lightening, a West End finale, a bottle of bubbly, a Special One.

Key Lessons:

Confidence and an understanding of what the media wants is a powerful combination

Sound bite + personality = Back of the net

Bad week for Unite political director Charlie Whelan

A double comeback story this week, though this returning figure is not quite so revered outside of the Unite HQ. Charlie Whelan is back. Gordon Brown's former dark arts practitioner, famous for briefing on Britain's decision to stay out of the euro in a pub, is looming large as the country and the Labour party grapples with BA industrial action issues.

As a political director at the UK's largest trade union, his role has been defined by some as simply ‘get Gordon elected'. But Whelan is at the forefront of a potentially crippling BA strike and is the awkward link between union and Prime Minister. Interviewed by the BBC's Nick Robinson, Whelan did his best Cheshire cat impression when his powerful position was pointed out.

Those shy retiring types at the Mail have dubbed him ‘Brown's bruiser in a flat cap'. Class. The Tories are making hay with the story as it deflects nicely from their ‘Baron of Belize' Ashcroft woes. The timing of this story is none too special either, with an election weeks away, Whelan and not policy is the story. PR heavyweight Colin Byrne vented his spleen, Twittering ‘What the hell is a strike-mongering politically discredited nutter like Charlie Whelan doing at the heart of Labour's election campaign?'

‘Who he?' was Whelan's arch retort. As a devotee of Gordon Brown's is all this Whelan and dealin' (sorry) likely to cause Labour's election hopes to Untie?

Key Lessons:

Facial expression can tell a thousand stories

By doggedly pursuing a short term goal, you may damage long term objectives

 

 

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