Jose Mourinho is football’s equivalent of Marmite, you either love him or you hate him. In this article I am going to discuss the two sides to the Chelsea boss and whether or not he is a genius, or just plain arrogant.
Jose Mourinho has become one of the most successful and iconic characters within modern day football. In his early days, Mourinho worked as an opponent analyst for Sir Bobby Robson. When he eventually took up management, his first real announcement to the world of football was winning the Champions League with FC Porto in 2003.
From Porto he joined Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea, where he won back to back Premier League titles in his first two seasons, as well as numerous domestic cups along the way.
After leaving Chelsea in 2007, Mourinho joined Serie A side Inter Milan the following year, where he famously beat Bayern Munich to win his second Champions League title at the Bernabeu, which was part of the famous treble. Ironically, the Bernabeu was his next stop. The Portuguese boss stepped up to manage the Galactico’s Real Madrid, where he eventually added a La Liga title and the Spanish Super Cup to his list of trophies. It is clear that Mourinho has had an impressive managerial career, and it wasn’t surprising, therefore, that when Chelsea were in need of a new manager in 2013, there was only one man for the job and Mourinho began his second reign at the Blues.
Over the years Mourinho has caught the headlines for many reasons, sometimes for his great success with an array of teams and sometimes for less than impressive behaviour. The moment when people began to notice Mourinho occurred in the 2003 Champions League semi-final, when a late goal took his Porto side through to the final at the expense of Manchester United. Mourinho proceeded to run down the touchline and join in the celebration with his players.
Upon joining Chelsea in 2004, he immediately announced to the world exactly what he thought of himself. During one of his first news conferences, he referred to himself as ‘the Special One’, claiming that he was ‘not from the bottle’. Mourinho was sure he was a cut above the rest and he certainly went some way to proving it that year, claiming the Premier League with a record points tally.
Over the years he has developed rivalries with a host of other top managers. The one which particularly stands out, given the recent clashes, is Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has never beaten Mourinho in a competitive match. The pair have exchanged words over the years, with Mourinho famously branding Wenger a “specialist in failure” in reference to Arsenal’s lack of trophies over the last decade. The frustration has clearly built up inside Wenger over the years and it showed in the previous meeting between the two sides, when Wenger shoved Mourinho and the pair had to be separated by the fourth official. Wenger later apologised for his behaviour.
Mourinho is known for playing mind games with the opposition’s manager – which can often leave them infuriated – as he did with Paul Lambert and Roy Keane recently, after the pair questioned his sportsmanship following an attempt to shake hands with the pair and leave the dugout early while his side were minutes away from beating Aston Villa.
For sure, Mourinho is certainly a character and adds personality and entertainment to the game – there are not enough people like Mourinho in football. I believe that a lot of his success comes down to his personality, as well as his managerial ability. There’s no questioning his ability, as he has proved his greatness with an endless amount of trophies with a range of different teams. At the end of the day, football is a competitive sport, but it also owes its popularity to the entertainment that it provides.
The mind games are effective. If Mourinho can give his team an advantage before the game even begins, why not? Although, I do not agree with the way he attempts to shake hands with his opposition manager early, even if he has nothing left to do. He should have respect for his fellow managers and wait till the final whistle.
What do you think of Mourinho, do you love him or hate him? Leave a comment below.