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SportWhat Now for José Mourinho?

Words by Nathan Irvine

Has time left the original Special One in the past, or can the Portuguese get his managerial mojo back?

It’s no surprise that the mainstream press were queuing up to stick the knife into José Mourinho when Manchester United finally sacked him. In his last few months in charge, he’d become increasingly tetchy and started looking for fights with anyone and everyone.

Whether it was the press (“they twist my words”), the fans (“they’re too quiet”) or the players, José was quite happy to blame anyone other than himself for the poor form that ultimately saw him jettisoned from one of the world’s biggest clubs.



Shots Fired

Journalists rightly focused on the fact that Mourinho implodes at every club during his third season, just as he did spectacularly at Chelsea and Real Madrid. But even as the inevitable was unfolding he still had bullets left to aim at his paymasters – blasting them, wrongly, for not allowing him to fritter away more millions on players.

Scottish sportswriter Patrick Barclay hit the proverbial nail on the head. “He [Mourinho] became consumed by his own ego. Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to win, not for himself, but for Manchester United. Everything he was doing you got the impression it was for United.” he told Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement panel.

Since then, the surprise appointment of former United striker, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager has seen the team romp to an undefeated run of games and the players look like they’re enjoying football again. A complete transformation of the squad that Mourinho had at his disposal. And José? Well, he was most recently spotted falling over at an ice hockey game. An analogy of the Portuguese’s fall from grace, perhaps.


Shutterstock Where will he land?

The Ego Has Landed

If you thought the shock of being sacked midway through the season at Manchester United was going to humble Mourinho, you were wrong, as his recent appearance on Bein Sports suggested otherwise.

Sat in a studio with Richard Keys and Andy Gray fawning over his every word, backdropped by huge screens with pictures of his past glories and “The Special One” moniker splashed across it, Mourinho remained in denial of his failings.

“When did that reputation [‘parking the bus’] start?” José asked Keys, “When I won La Liga with 100 points, 116 goals and broke all the Spanish league records”. It was a response that felt well practiced. A defensive tick that has become his trademark whenever his methods are questioned. He also couldn’t resist bemoaning his lack of funds compared to the likes of rivals Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. The taste of sour grapes was palpable.

The rest of the world’s top coaches are adapting to the challenges the modern game brings – social media, player power and more. Meanwhile, Mourinho is recalling past glories to justify his actions in the present.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

But what’s fascinating to us is to see what happens next. Here’s a manager that’s won pretty much everything, and is suddenly left without his positive aura. Rival fans took pleasure in singing “You’re not special anymore” in his last few months at Old Trafford, so it’ll be interesting to see where Mourinho goes from here.

According to the man himself, he’s rejected a number of jobs since leaving Manchester United. But it’s hard to imagine a huge club taking a risk on him after such a high-profile failure. In fact, maybe it’s better for Mourinho to dive into a club without a footballing philosophy so he can impose his will on the team. Paris Saint Germain could be the perfect fit.

Either way, we’re excited to see what the new chapter holds for Mourinho. He’s one of football’s most charismatic people, even when he’s being snippy. So even if his next team are awful on the pitch, we’ll still be here for the Mourinho-inspired drama off it. Come back soon, José.

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