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elpresidente On February - 8 - 2012

Premier League for Jose Mourinho

I know this is a little late but I wanted the hype to die down a little bit. It’s not a fluff topic and it’s not going to go away no matter how many madridistas throw themselves under the Jose Mourinho bus and plead with him to stay after the end of this season. It’s almost decided that he’ll win the league. Barcelona might win the individual battles but they’ll lose the war. It’s a war of attrition and their best players, other than Lionel Messi, are out or have been injured for significant portions of the season. Get ready for the honor guard sometime in May. The Champions League is another story because it is as much a matter of luck and especially the luck of the draw as the head to head match-ups but other than Barcelona, Real Madrid have few real challengers. It’s a game between champs and there are only two real challengers. In England, Arsenal is down as is Chelsea. Milan isn’t built for the Champions League in Italy and Inter Milan are fragile under Claudio Ranieri. There is a very good chance that if Barcelona can be bested between this round and the final, that Jose’s Real Madrid can finally get that 10th European Cup. With either that or even just a League title in Spain, Mourinho is every bit prepared to skip out of Dodge and return to the friendly confines of the English media and the cold and rainy terrain that suits him best. The question is where?

Manchester United: the most talked about option is the Reds. Sir Alex Ferguson is getting on in years and he has more than hinted at retirement over the last decade, but it is highly doubtful that Jose will walk the sidelines at Old Trafford and the main opponent I think will be Sir Alex himself. Despite similarities in the way that both handle their squads and how they both dominate the English media, their football has nothing in common. The obvious choice is to bring in someone with a connection to Fergie’s squads, maybe an ex-player or an assistant, but unless they drag him out by the bootstraps, Sir Alex will be intimately involved with nominating his successor and it may come from somewhere other than the British Isles.

Chelsea: I know that Chelsea fans would be ecstatic and his former players themselves would welcome the return of the Special One to Stamford Bridge, but Jose Mourinho is no fool. The squad is old and stagnant. It will take more than an influx of Russian cash to re-energize the squad. Thomas Wolfe said it best. You can’t go home again. Chelsea just doesn’t fit the profile of a club with money and on the cusp of greatness that Jose requires.

Liverpool: not a chance. (You can also throw out Spurs as well for financial reasons). First of all the supporters would linch the owners before any deals would ever come through. Even if Kenny Dalgleish leaves his post or is fired, the American owners would hire someone with a more pronounced ability to work under financial constraints. Considering how their American owners generally operate they don’t believe in high-profile superstar managers. I think they would a guy like Martin O’Neill here if he weren’t so duly deputized by Sunderland or an Andre Vilas-Boas might have been better served here than under the scrutiny of his former boss’s squad.

Manchester City: this is the obvious answer. Jose loves to buy talent and the Middle Easter owners have more than any club owners in the world and yet I don’t think Jose will make the obvious choice. He’s not Rafa Benitez. He won’t follow Roberto Mancini again. Plus, the squad is too big. Jose likes a smaller squad that he can mold in his own image and their squad is too unwieldy and has too much baggage. I think Mancini stays and just continues retooling. If he’s fired I think this is where Rafa Benitez finally reappears.

Arsenal: I’m most likely wrong and all of you can rip me to shreds but give me a second and hear me out. I know how you feel about Mourinho. I still have a special place in my heart for the Untouchables of 2003-2004 and Arsene Wenger is one of my favorite managers of all time, but his time at Arsenal is coming to an end. A return to boring, boring Arsenal might not be what you all clamor for but it might be necessary. Pragmatism is what Jose offers and he loves England and especially London. He might get carte-blanche from the new chairman and he’ll at least bring a more concerted effort to win trophies. More than that I think the squad is perfect for what Jose brings to the table. They have talent, a boatload of attacking talent, and they have a few gaps to fill on defense. It might be a perfect fit if Arsenal fans give themselves a broader definition as to what constitutes Arsenal football.

I could be wrong. Most likely I am, but who knows, I’m probably not that far from the truth. Jose is leaving, where do you think he’s heading?

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6 Responses so far.

  1. StoneyBenn says:

    I think you’re wrong about Alex Ferguson potentially opposing the appointment of Mourinho as his successor. While Ferguson has recently hinted he has half an eye on the success Ole Gunnar Solskj√¶r is presently enjoying in Norway, he has also been vocal in his support of Jose, going as far as to defend Mr Mourinho poking Barcelona staff in the eye by commenting that it reminded him of himself when he was younger. I think Mourinho is precisely who Ferguson would like to take over from him, although this would be divisive among Manchester United fans.

    The problem there is that Ferguson is only ever likely to be carried out of Old Trafford in a box. He has recently suggested he has “three more seasons”, but I’m fairly sure I remember him saying he had “a couple more” about two or three seasons ago. He seems to have no desire to leave, and no good reason to either.

    You’re right that there’s no chance of him going to Liverpool. He’s actually said so himself. During the reign of the last owners he ruled out the prospect of managing Liverpool. “I can’t tell you, but I know why,” he said. And he doesn’t appear to have changed his mind, recently listing a number of “good” clubs he would be prepared to coach in England and not only conspicuously omitting Liverpool from the list but (slightly bafflingly) including Everton. It’s almost as if he wants to annoy Red Scousers… but those Red Scousers currently have one of the biggest legends in their history in charge, Liverpool is not ordinarily a club that sacks managers quickly (Hodgson notwithstanding), and fans will be particularly lenient with Dalglish despite his less than outstanding transfer dealings. Kenny ain’t going anywhere.

    Wherever Mourinho’s going, he’s probably not going there for long. I say this not only because of his track record of short tenures with big impacts – but because he’s made it as clear as he possibly could that he wants the Manchester United job, and once he has it, I suspect THAT’s the one he intends to keep.

    This rules out an otherwise perfect fit for the manager: he cannot expect to lead Manchester City to success if he intends to cross over to Old Trafford when the seat is available. The fans wouldn’t wear it for a second. So, while it’s possible that if Mancini fails to win the league this season he’ll get Abramoviched by City’s wealthy owners, which will guarantee Mourinho being offered the job, his eyes being on the bigger prize, he would – I think – turn it down. If he does end up at City, it means he’s given up on his big dream of replacing Ferguson.

    And while I suspect Arsenal is a good call aren’t the board just too damn tight-fisted to pay Mourinho the wage he’d expect?

    Finally, I think you’re too quick to dismiss the prospect of a move back to Chelsea. Abramovich has reportedly made his peace with him, AVB is seemingly out of his depth – and as a protege and former assistant of Mourinho’s, Roman might ask himself “Why have the facsimile if the original is available?” On Mourinho’s part, he clearly enjoyed his time at Chelsea, but may feel he has unfinished business (The Champions League he was hired to win in the first place.)

    While you’re right that it would involve rebuilding, it might also represent the kind of challenge Mourinho hasn’t had since Porto – and the money is there.

    Weighing it all up, I think next season Jose Mourinho will be manager of…. Real Madrid.

    • elpresidente says:

      Yeah, ultimately I think he’ll give Real Madrid a couple extra years. I am still not sold however that Jose is the real successor at Man U. Ultimately it’s anyone’s guess where he goes.

      • StoneyBenn says:

        Oh yes, indeed – anyone’s guess. I doubt he even really knows himself at the moment. But speculating about Mourinho’s future is good fun, isn’t it? The guy is such a whirlwind, such a circus…

        He could even surprise us all yet and end up somewhere outside of England for a couple of years. Bundesliga perhaps. Bayern. Anything seems possible with Jose.

  2. Adegoke ademola says:

    For me the only coach that can bring glory back to chelsea ‘s morinho.

  3. samson olo says:

    I would love 2 see the special one in arsenal. Wenger should pls give arsenal a break.

  4. Gabi says:

    Absolutely not. I support Aberdeen!I’m simply stating that if Arsenal’s style of play is, as many observers see it, the best, why do they not win more trophies when other teams have worse’ playing styles? I’m not denying that it’s very attractive and easy to watch neat passes in midfield, but is it the most effective approach for scoring goals, winning matches and lifting trophies?

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