Damien Delaney recalls classy gesture by "genuine" Jose Mourinho
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"The guy has a presence, he has an aura."
In the latest episode of House of Football, we were joined in studio by League of Ireland legend Alan Cawley and the former Republic of Ireland defender Damien Delaney.
Delaney, a former Premier League centre-half from his time at Crystal Palace, encountered several of the game's biggest names during his five seasons in the English top flight.
One such name is the iconic figure of Jose Mourinho, formerly of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Delaney, recalling his encounters with 'The Special One', remembers one particular meeting with the Portuguese manager that made an impression on him.
Damien Delaney recalls Jose Mourinho's classy gesture after Chelsea defeat.
"We beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge one year, and Tony Pulis was the (Crystal Palace) manager", said Delaney.
"We were sitting in the changing room. So, what normally you would do is you have a security guard on the door so no one comes in, just so the gaffer isn't interrupted when he's giving his chat".
"There are double doors at Chelsea, and we heard one open and we thought the security guard was getting sacked in the morning, 'He's let someone in.'"
"Next thing the door just flung open and it was the long coat, Jose just came in! And even Tony Pulis took a step back, just kind of melted back into the wall. Jose just took over the team talk for us."
Mourinho praised the Palace squad and their efforts in the game.
"He was complimentary of us, saying how good we were," Delaney continued.
"He was so impressed with us, 'You guys are great, keep playing like that and you'll have no issues...
"'You earned that one, I can't fault my team, we gave everything, you were the better team on the day'."
“Next thing the door just flung open!”
Damien Delaney on the side of “genuine” Jose Mourinho fans don’t see, and his classy gesture after Chelsea lost at Stamford Bridge.
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Cawley asked Delaney if he thought Mourinho's comments about Palace were sincere or if they were meant to be condescending.
"No, not at all, he was so genuine," the former Ireland defender said.
"It happened again another time at Selhurst. John Terry scored an own goal and we won 1-0 at the back end of the season, I think it confirmed we were staying in the league, and Chelsea were going for the league at the time as well".
"And the same thing, he just came in and was unbelievable about it. If you heard him talk, and he commands a room, and then just went around and shook everyone's hand. It was just awesome".
Delaney went on to note that while Mourinho has his critics, footballers who played under him rarely criticise him.
"The guy has a presence, he has an aura," the former Palace defender said.
"And I spoke about this the other night on TV - No one (who has played under him) ever criticises Jose. No player. Whatever you say about him, and he rubs media up the wrong way, the fans, referees, everybody.
"But I've yet to meet a player who has come out and said anything remotely negative against him. And that's extremely rare for the career he's had."
"Look at what he's doing at Roma now, they scored the winning goal in the Europa League the other night and he's conducting the crowd.
"That's Jose coming back. Not even Jose could fix Spurs. I'm delighted he's doing well at Roma, he's a genuine fella, he really is.
"I met him a couple of times and he knew, he was chatting to me, 'I was going, 'Jesus, he actually knows who I am.'
"He mentioned something one time about the play-off final and he was like, 'You guys were so good, I was at that game.'
"Little details that make you feel, 'Jesus I'm important. Not! But I felt like it'."
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