Mourinho comes over all Mr Nice Guy, while Pep faces his annual angst
That a football coach is managing to refrain from physically assaulting members of the opposition technical team, insulting rival coaches or being rude about their own players, bosses and various institutional organisations is something that should be roundly applauded.
ThatÃ¢ÂÂs the straw AS are grasping at, as the paper joins the rest of the Spanish football media in crawling on their hands and knees towards the end of another barren international fortnight.
Either through desperation or a sense of duty, TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition of AS leads with the story that JosÃÂ© Mourinho has managed to behave himself for eight whole days - the last Ã¢ÂÂincidentÃ¢ÂÂ being his praising of Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs ultras and insulting of the rest of the club's fans over their lack of support for the team - thus signaling a change in attitude.
Indeed, ever since nearly poking out Tito VilanuevaÃ¢ÂÂs eye during the Spanish Super Cup clashes, AS has been impressed by MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs restraint which has seen the Portuguese trainer mostly polite about opposition teams and their coaches. Ã¢ÂÂMourinho has changedÃ¢ÂÂ declares the paperÃ¢ÂÂs front page. Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs burying the bad guy and now only the great manager that he is can be seen,Ã¢ÂÂ declares Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o, tempting a huge amount of fate considering matches against Valencia, AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and Barcelona are all around the corner, all with plenty of opportunity for Mourinho mischief.
Jose cracks his biggest smile for the cameras...
Managers have also been the obsession in Cataluyna of late, with the annual speculation on whether Pep Guardiola will be renewing his contract with the Dream Boys. The BarÃÂ§a boss quite sensibly seems to prefer to go through the process on a year-by-year basis, with the decision dependent on his sanity and hairline at the time.
Mundo Deportivo claim Pep is to make up his mind in January, although Sandro Rosell has revealed that the issue could be resolved straight away. Ã¢ÂÂPep knows the contract he wants is on the table to be signed when he wants.Ã¢ÂÂ LLL hopes that it isnÃ¢ÂÂt chucked away by the cleaners for recycling in the meantime.
That news certainly doesnÃ¢ÂÂt stop LluÃÂs MascarÃÂ³ of Sport from losing sleep at night as the writer tosses and turns on the thorny issue. Ã¢ÂÂThe problem is not so much the uncertainty that this attitude generates but the chaos it will cause on the day he says heÃ¢ÂÂs off. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs no alternative to Pep. No-one is prepared for a future without Guardiola.Ã¢ÂÂ
NeymarÃ¢ÂÂs decision to stay at Santos until 2014 is still causing some ripples in the water, with Mundo Deportivo claiming Rosell has already sealed a deal for the young Brazilian to join Barcelona after the next World Cup. That theory certainly seems more plausible, with Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira blasting Florentino PÃÂ©rez for having Ã¢ÂÂan arrogant attitude, that of a colonizerÃ¢ÂÂs mentality.Ã¢ÂÂ
Even Marca have been forced to acknowledge the fact a PÃÂ©rez target has been missed, with a story claiming that thereÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to worry about, with plenty of other young footballing fish in the sea being monitored by beady-eyed Madrid scouts. The names of Iker Muniain, Rafinha, Hazard, Wilshere and GÃÂ¶tze are mentioned - all fine players in their own right, but not a certain crest-sporting Brazilian that has escaped FlorentinoÃ¢ÂÂs clutches, possibly forever.