Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jose Mourinho

This blog is an unashamed devotee of the Portugeezer but at the same time, it is impossible to allow his increased antics at Real Madrid to go both unchecked and unreported. For all his apparent volatility, there is usually a method to the madness and one must speculate as to what is now really going on now with the Real coach.

Mourinhos' first two seasons at Chelsea were a huge success with Premiership titles in the bag on both occasions and the only blot on the copy book the disappointment of the Champions League clashes with Liverpool. The Summer of '06 however led to the arrival of Shevchenko and Ballack and it was seemingly the beginning of the end of what had been a brief but highly charged lust affair with the Stamford Bridge club.

Seemingly unable or unwilling to fit the apparently unwanted Ukranian forward into his tried and tested 4-3-3 system, Mourinho's behaviour became more and more erratic. This must also be taken into the context of a manager who had accused Barcelona of owning referees, of hiding in laundry baskets and of so dramatically throwing his Premiership medal and jacket into the Stamford Bridge crowd. When Mourinho becomes more erratic it is time to take notice as it oft a precursor to something else.

The following Summer at Stamford Bridge saw the coffers bare and Mourinho began to agitate further. Whilst Mourinho was technically dismissed by Chelsea later that season, there is little doubt that he had done much to engineer the situation to his own design. Mourinho is not a man for all seasons, he is a coach that given the right resources and freedom will give you huge concentrated bursts of success, he felt the winds changing back in favour of Old Trafford and he duly left the building.

No one should ever question Mourinhos' ability as a coach however and at Inter he duly shone again admittedly aided by an AC Milan team still recovering from the match fixing scandal and a Juventus team nowhere close to their previous incarnations for the same reason.

That being said the treble he achieved in his final season was nothing short of miraculous given his semi final backs to the wall victory over Guardiolas' immense Barca side. Again however Mourinho was already engineering his exit, what else could be achieved at Inter after all? He knew his chances of repeating that success were probably non existent. Despite being under contract, Mourinho manipulated the situation to such a huge extent that the whole world felt it a travesty that Inter would not simply let him walk away and join Real Madrid as he wished.

Joining Madrid was and is the biggest challenge so far of Mourinhos' career. Real demand instant and stylised success and though having a superb squad and a vast resources at his disposal, Mourinho is up against once of the truly great club sides of all time in Pep Guardiolas' Barcelona.

Madrid did little wrong last year scoring 92 points in the league, a total which would have seen them win the Premiership, Serie A, the Bundesliga or Ligue Une, indeed very few score 90 points and don't win. Losing to Barca in the Champions League semi was no disgrace either but the manner of the defeats was starting to change in terms of the animosity that was building between the clubs.

Real Madrid, possibly due to their recent incredible spending when they signed Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and Xavi Alonso as well as adding the talents of Ozil and Khedira have possibly led to a more considered approach this Summer and reinforcements have not been forthcoming.

Barcelona however have signed Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas to compliment an already almost unbeatable team. Reals' chances of overcoming this Barcelona team would seem little better than last seasons' and Mourinho, highly intelligent man that he is may already be planning his exit strategy.

The recent Spanish Super Cup clash has done little to quell the bad feeling and there are increasing noises from within the Bernabeu that Mourinhos' behaviour is becoming unacceptable. His open letter to the fans this week further dramatised the situation and the bad feeling toward him from Catalonia is bordering on open hatred.

Should Mourinho leave Madrid, there would be little shortage of suitors but he may find that ManYoo, his openly suggested preferred destination have little time for his high profile tantrums even when Sir Alex finally retires. Manchester City should Mancini fail to secure the title this season would seem a more logical destination as his abilities to manage a large squad are renowned. Jose may well end up staying at Real this season but it would seem only a matter before football's most famous hired gun moves on to the next destination on his meticulously pre planned career route - No Nonsense.