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Where do Mourinho and Guardiola go from here?

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Phil Minshull | 12:44 UK time, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

It was brutal, it was humiliating. It was the heaviest defeat of Jose Mourinho's career. Into the bargain, the 5-0 loss was also inflicted by Real Madrid's bitter rivals, Barcelona.

Mourinho was doing his best to look brave after what the Spanish sports daily Marca, usually a cheerleader for Real, was calling on Tuesday: "A slap in the face for Madrid."

To his credit, Mourinho stood up and faced the Spanish media when he could have so easily have put on one of his familiar pouts and just flounced away, leaving one of his subordinates to handle the brickbats.

"I've always said that Barcelona were the finished product and the work of many years," he said. "I've also said that Real Madrid, despite having played very well until today, are not a finished product and a lot is missing from the team to be so."

Jose MourinhoThere was little to cheer Mourinho at the Camop Nou. Photo: Reuters

A fair assessment, although a lot of those at the post-match press conference wondered when he had actually made the comments which he had just ascribed to himself.

"I always tell the players when you win important games, titles, important things, that you have a reason to cry, to cry for joy," he added.

"When you lose, when you concede four or five like today, don't go around crying. React with a desire to work, a desire to train, a desire to play the next game. The next game is Saturday but that's a shame. It should be tomorrow."

Looking at the faces of the dejected Real Madrid players as they trudged off the pitch, I think they will be glad of a few days respite before their next match.

Even relatively experienced players like Xabi Alonso hung their heads down so low that their chins dragged on the ground, while new arrivals like Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil had clearly never experienced anything like it before.

I am sure that I will get a lot of comments below suggesting I am anti-Mourinho or anti-Madrid - probably both. Believe it or not, I am not implacably so. I had a lot of good things to write about the club and its coach when Fabio Capello was there.

However, Mourinho has always been a little less measured in his statements, risking being hoist by his own petard. Now he has.

"To not win La Liga or the Champions League this season will be a disaster," said Mourinho upon his arrival in the Spanish capital at the end of May.

It is fair to say that La Liga is only a third of the way into the season but Mourinho will now be under scrutiny like he has never been before, not even in his final few months at Chelsea, and the Spanish media and public do scrutiny very well.

What about Pep Guardiola? Where is he going next?

Nowhere seems to be the most likely answer now, despite suggestions at the weekend that Chelsea were going to go after both the 39-year-old former Spanish international and Barcelona's director of football Txiki Begiristain.

Well, I cannot profess to know intimately what the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is thinking about this particular situation but I cannot imagine he is considering looking at any bids from Roman Abramovich.

Guardiola has only got a contract until the end of the season, which has possibly spurred the speculation that he could be on his way to London, with Arsenal also linked as a possible destination earlier this season. But Rosell almost certainly now knows that he would be mad to let him go, regardless of the cost.

Carles Puyol goes to ground after being pushed in the face by Sergio RamosCarles Puyol goes to ground after being pushed in the face by Sergio Ramos. Photo:AP

If Guardiola was a hero before, in not just Barcelona but across the entire Catalan region, then he is even more so now after becoming the first Barca coach in history to win his first five clashes with Real Madrid.

It is also worth remembering what Rosell himself said in July, barely a month after becoming the new Barcelona president.

"Barcelona fans don't have to suffer worrying about Pep," said the 46-year-old marketing executive. "We offered him six years with the possibility of renewing the agreement every year but he is so demanding of himself that he prefers to sign for one season at a time.

"However, we have given our word that the moment that he wants to renew his current deal at any time during our mandate that he can do so. The moment he says he wants to renew his contract, we will renew it."

Rosell is astute enough to be aware that Guardiola will now be asking for a lot more money, even though a draft agreement has been in place since September. Rosell might even enjoy the brinksmanship of making him the best paid coach in the world, topping Mourinho's alleged 13m euros a year.

Another pertinent question is how the players of both teams will react in the wake of Monday night's result? We will all know by midnight on Saturday.

Barcelona have a trip to Osasuna, who are now coached by the former Spain and Real Madrid boss Jose Antonio Camacho.

The Pamplona-based side are unbeaten at home this season. Their intimidating Reyno De Navarra stadium may only be roughly a fifth of the size of the Camp Nou with a capacity of 19,800 but can still sometimes seem like the worst place on the planet for an opposition player. Any lapse in concentration or complacency by Barcelona could cost them points.

Into the bargain, Camacho himself was involved in many El Clasico games himself, both on the pitch and in the dug out. It does not require much thought and analysis to realise that Camacho is probably working out ways of denting Barcelona's bubble of euphoria - and not just for his current side's benefit.

Real Madrid entertain Valencia, who are hardly the team you would want to face if you were looking to bounce back from defeat with a morale-boosting victory.

Valencia strikers Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado have said that they will be going to the Santiago Bernabeu with points to prove after being discarded by Real Madrid early in their careers.

Mourinho's noted talents as a psychologist will be stretched to the full in the next few days but I think he was right when he said on Monday that the Spanish title race is far from finished.


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