Ozil vindicated Jose Mourinho, claims former assistant

Ozil Free Kick

Arsenal player's actions last season illustrate popularity of Chelsea boss against press reports in Spain, says former assistant Aitor Karanka.

Former Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka has said that Jose Mourinho got an unfair rap from the Spanish media in his final season.

The current Middlesbrough manager says Chelsea boss Mourinho was made out to be far more respected than otherwise claimed.

In his third and final season in Spain, rumours were rampant in the press that the Madrid dressing room was split, with Mourinho an unpopular figure.

Karanka, who was at Madrid at the time, has in an interview with Marca over the weekend defended his old boss, and claimed that the actions of an Arsenal player last season proved the claims were over-exaggerated.

"There were also a lot less players than people might think. You can see it whenever Mourinho plays against a player who we had at Real.

"They talked about Özil, and when Özil played against him, he gave him his shirt. The majority of players speak well of José in interviews. They said it was almost as if we couldn't go into the dressing room. Another of the many lies."

Mourinho certainly made a controversial decision in dropping Iker Casillas at Madrid, a popular figure among many Madrid players, but beyond that reports of him falling out with the players certainly seemed exaggerated.

At a club like Madrid, everything was magnified and Mourinho's tendency to be abrasive at times played into this.

Yet recent reports claiming Drogba is to come back to play and work with him for a season speaks volumes about the relationships he has been able to cultivate during his career in management.

Mourinho makes headlines, but as Karanka is keen to point out, the good work outweighs the commonly reported and often more salacious bad press he receives.

Was the criticism Mourinho received in Madrid fair or disproportionate?

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