He’s been special, he’s been happy, a winner, sore loser but often charismatic and certain of success, he divides, yet unites…hey! Wait-a-minute…isn’t he the BEST?
Does the word from “Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet” best describe him? “I’ve always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself. I prefer to be taken seriously for what I’m not, remaining humanly unknown, with naturalness and all due respect.”
Jose Mourinho is a man that polarizes football world the most in its history…but we all agreed on one thing, he’s one of the most successful coach football has seen, statistically! Is this maverick fading away or re-inventing himself, like the phoenix? One thing we can be sure of is more drama, intrigue, suspense, in this high octane story of Jose Mourinho.
The best of his achievements belongs to the last decade, so it is fair to ask whether Mourinho’s career is on a downward curve and his methods are as effective as they used to be?
Playing in different football leagues is really hard due to a radical difference in styles. Mourinho brilliantly built teams that succeeded in each league by understanding his rivals and adapting his style: High line pressing at Porto, defensive long ball game at Chelsea, defensive and down the flanks at Inter and a counter-attacking and fast paced style at Real Madrid. His preference for reactive football in big games is an outlier…equally he can no longer be considered cutting edge…that he no longer commands players as he once did…the aura of invincibility is gone…fallen like a grandma’s breast.
His reigns at Chelsea and Real Madrid, ended in rancor, and there have already been rumblings and discontentment just 6 months old at United. The last six years, three seasons at Real Madrid, two and a half at Chelsea, was a disappointment & a disaster. At both clubs the third season spiraled fast into acrimony, conspiracy theories, war- esq, with the authorities, club officials/ management and even his own players. Ridiculous!
The Ex-Chelsea manager said, “I have a problem, which is I’m getting better at everything related to my job since I started. There’s been evolution in many different areas – the way I read the game, the way I prepare the game, the way I train, the methodology… I feel better and better. Hahaha…!. Such an irony when you look at United after Ferguson; winning from Sixth to Sixth.
Manchester United is not the same team now as they were three-four years ago. All they do now is read out HISTORY; living in their past glories. A cold bucket of water from EPL teams will surely jolt them back to reality. Sixth on the log, one would say indeed Jose is using his “sixth sense”, just as Ed Woodward did use his own, by appointing Jose. Fact is United is not trying to replace Ferguson, they are trying to replace Moyes& Louis van Gaal, their best next thing to Fergie.!Haha. In the last three seasons they have finished 22, 17 and 15 points behind the champions. Maybe this season will be 20, as he’s 13 point behind league leaders Chelsea, half way through the season. It’s been the frown, the squeals, the kicks and the barks…something just seems wrong that even when United is winning Jose has the look of a man possessed by angry spirits. The 4-0 drubbing by Chelsea, with all their HISTORY, both Jose & United will make any history student switch to current affairs study, as it counts for nothing. Who history epp, Buhari?
JM uses same office Alex Ferguson used at United’s Carrington training ground. Fergie would walk through the main canteen to swap gossip and jokes with his players. But the Emperor’s access route is quite different. Rather than using the obvious like Fergie, he chooses to use the back of the building to enter his private office. When you look at United’s title rivals, Klopp’s Liverpool suffocate their opponents with a high press, while Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham thrives on energy and vigour, or is it Conte’s Chelsea (the same team he failed woefully with) and their stellar unbeaten record; clean sheets have become their alias, you can proudly say, he has lost his “mojo”. Atletico Madrid goes toe-to-toe with Barcelona and Real Madrid through Diego Simeone’s fast direct football.
Really why won’t they when the maverick motivates his players through what he calls “confrontational leadership”. In his own words, he tries to “create conflict, with the intention to bring out the best out of players”…WAKE UP Jose, this isn’t the Stone ages! No wonder Diego Costa & Hazard almost beat him up; stop fetching water with a basket.
His victories come at high costs, the collateral damage often manifests itself in name-calling, berating of officials, eye-gouging et al.. He seems to forget that misdemeanors are often overlooked when you win but they’re not forgotten. Whenever José starts being nice about people /team, it’s because he doesn’t see them as a threat…his gibberish on Pulis clearly illustrates this. Little wonder his foolish comments about Chelsea and defending…Indeed a man without shame, who taught Chelsea how to park the team bus on the pitch.
A religious man, in the sense of it, he said, “I believe totally. Every day I pray, every day I speak with Him. I don’t go to the church every day, not even every week. I go when I feel I need to. And when I’m in Portugal, I always go.”Asked what he prays for in an interview;
“For my family! For my kids, for my wife, for my parents for happiness and a good family life. But I can say the reality is I never go to the church to speak with Him about football. Never!” Haha! Please where is Pinocchio? Lies, he needs TB Joshua more than ever now…having not lost in his last 13 matches with 7wins, and yet he goes from “sixth to 6th” is surely more than we can understand.
A man incapable of staying in the shadows, only time will tell if the ‘UNITED’ job he has coveted for many years will be his poisoned chalice!
~ Uche Abugu.
Uchechukwu Abugu Vincent is an unrepentant Igbo man from Enugu state, Nigeria. He was born and raised by noble Catholic parents. Married with 3 handsome boys, to the best wife on the planet. He is a UNN graduate, ex-banker, entrepreneur, ardent & hardcore football lover who writes as a hobby.
You can reach him on the following social media handles : IG – utchayabugu, Twitter – @utchayabugu, FB – Utchay Abugu