Why Mourinho must fuse two-faced mentality

There are only two teams in Europe who can still claim the treble this season – and Bayern Munich happens to be the other one.

Inter could still finish the campaign with the domestic title and Italian Cup tucked away before lifting the Champions League – or if one was to listen to the harbingers of doom then they could end up with nothing.

Round one of 'will they or won’t they blow it' commences this evening in Florence when the Nerazzurri return to the Artemio Franchi stadium for the second leg of their Italian Cup semi-final, holding a 1-0 advantage.

The conspiracy theorists – or those with plenty of time on their hands – had predicted Fiorentina would throw the league game at the weekend in return for a win in the Cup, but why would Jose Mourinho want to be any part of such a pact when he has already allured to dark goings on in the Italian game?

The now silent one has once again bitten his tongue and refused to shed any light on why he feels there is a conspiracy against his side and why in the meantime they have made such hard work of bringing early closure to the title race.

However, the way he marched off the pitch on Saturday suggested that vengeance will be in the air in the Renaissance city on Tuesday.

Just as in the Italo Calvino novel, The Cloven Viscount, where a nobleman is split in two on the battle-fight to become separate individuals possessing one quality a piece, so we have witnessed a good and nasty Mourinho.

The good Mou comes out in the Champions League, cheery and care-free with the press, smiles for one and all; the nasty rears up when his mouth twists into a half sneer to tell everyone he is sick and tired of Italy and Italian life.

In Calvino’s fable, the villagers end up disliking both halves of the nobleman until they are rejoined to balance each other out – and this seems to be the case with our Portuguese interloper.

What he needs to do is become whole once more: we can put up with him being charming and then bristling with anger at the flick of his cashmere scarf, but one or the other is just a bore.

And in truth he needs to get down to business again which means getting the best out of his players over the next five weeks or so.

In Europe, the team have played with confidence and determination, taking command of matches and holding on to their advantage; at home it is almost the inverse.

There are patches of dominant play but then an inability to defend a lead such as at the weekend and Palermo before that.

Too many points have been dropped against sides they should be rolling over and it is that balance in endeavour that has been missing recently.

At this high-risk stage of the campaign no one is asking them to play with open enjoyment but the players are not getting the chance to enjoy the moment – in the league anyway.

A little spring-cleaning may not go amiss in the Cup, with Mario Balotelli and MacDonald Margia worth a run-out to rest Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso for example.

After all, the strength in depth of the squad was meant to have been the trump card, but Mou seems attached to a core of players who will no doubt be in action against Juventus on Friday and then Barcelona the following week.

Of course as in Calvino’s ending it may all come together again with Inter and their coach living happily ever after, but then again that may well not be the case if the treble suddenly becomes the double.

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