5 biggest mistakes made by Jose Mourinho in his managerial career

Jose Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur recently.
Jose Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur recently.
Abhinav Anand

One of the greatest managers in the game, Jose Mourinho is going through rough times at the moment.

The 58-year old was recently sacked as the head coach of Tottenham Hotspur after a run of uninspiring results. That means Spurs are the only club where Jose Mourinho failed to win a trophy.

Five biggest mistakes of Jose Mourinho:

There is a growing perception that Mourinho's stint at the very top may have come to an end with his sacking at Spurs. Nevertheless, Jose Mourinho will not be short of suitors. Celtic have been linked with him recently, and the longer he waits, the more offers he could get.

But Mourinho brings with him a unique package, with his controversial comments and playing style not always endearing to a club's faithful or their hierarchy. On that note, let's look at the five biggest mistakes made by Jose Mourinho in his managerial career.

#1 Failure to evolve tactically

Jose Mourinho (right) has displayed tactical inflexibility.
Jose Mourinho (right) has displayed tactical inflexibility.

During his prime, Jose Mourinho was regarded as one of the best tacticians in the game. Thanks to his tactical nous, unheralded Porto won the Champions League in 2004 in a triumph that surprised all and sundry.

Often labelled as a defensive coach who prioritises winning over playing an attractive brand of football, Jose Mourinho has never been short of critics. However, Jose Mourinho, in his prime, could guarantee trophies, which mitigated the criticism regarding his style of play to a considerable extent.

However, with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City playing free-flowing, attacking football and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool renowned for their pressing style, there is a growing perception that Jose Mourinho's insistence on being reactive rather than proactive is not in tune with the way the game is played today.

#4 Blaming his players and failure to take responsibility

Luke Shaw (left) and Jose Mourinho did not enjoy a good relationship.
Luke Shaw (left) and Jose Mourinho did not enjoy a good relationship.
"Same coach, different players."

This was Jose Mourinho's reaction when questioned why Tottenham Hotspur were unable to hold on to a lead against Newcastle United and shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

This answer was not received well, and it was not the first time the Portuguese criticised his players quite openly.

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw, now regarded as one of the best in his position, was at the receiving end of many such rebukes from Jose Mourinho.

The 58-year old stated in 2015 that he felt betrayed by his Chelsea players.

The likes of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and Manchester United attackers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have also been criticised openly by Mourinho, which didn't augur well for the teams' morales.

Also Read: 5 managers who could join bigger clubs this summer.

#3 Jose Mourinho seldom gives chances to youngsters

Japhet Tanganga (left) and Jose Mourinho after a game
Japhet Tanganga (left) and Jose Mourinho after a game

Jose Mourinho has often been blamed for not giving enough opportunities to young players at the highest level.

The clubs that he has been at have backed him well in transfer windows, signing big names and superstar players to ensure that Jose Mourinho delivers the big trophies.

During his stints at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho did not use academy players extensively. Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay and Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga are two such names that come to mind in this regard.

While that could be because clubs that appoint Jose Mourinho demand immediate success, there is a perception that the Portuguese seldom plans long-term at any club.

#4 Overlooking Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho (left) and Mohamed Salah
Jose Mourinho (left) and Mohamed Salah

Two of the biggest stars in Europe, Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, used to play for Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.

Mohamed Salah joined Chelsea from Basel in 2014 for a fee of Β£15 million, after some impressive performances for the Swiss club.

However, the Egyptian barely featured at Chelsea during Mourinho's reign at the club. Salah was subsequently farmed out on loan to Fiorentina and Roma and was signed by the latter permanently. Now, the 28-year old is a star at Liverpool and is regarded as one of the best attackers in football.

Similarly, Kevin De Bruyne was a highly talented midfielder who joined Chelsea from Genk in 2012 for a fee of Β£7 million. Like Salah, though, the Belgium international barely got a sniff at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho before he made his name at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.

The 29-year old is now arguably the best player in the Premier League and a key cog in Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, widely regarded as the best team in Europe at the moment.

#5 Falling out with key players

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho did not enjoy the best of relationships.
Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho did not enjoy the best of relationships.

At Jose Mourinho's latter clubs, there was a disturbing pattern of the Portuguese not enjoying the best of relations with the team's star men.

At Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho was often critical of legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas, while star centre-back Sergio Ramos endured a fractious relationship with his manager. It has been suggested that Portugal internationals Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe were also not huge fans of Jose Mourinho.

At Chelsea, it was reported that Eden Hazard and midfielder Cesc Fabregas had fallen out with Mourinho. Both players had played key roles in Chelsea's Premier League triumph the season before.

At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho's controversial relationship with French midfielder Paul Pogba is well documented.

Mourinho was the manager when Manchester United spent a then world-record fee of Β£94.5 million to acquire Pogba. After a good start, things soured so much so that Mourinho was reportedly willing to let go of the Frenchman.

Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw were also not in good terms with Mourinho.

Also Read: 5 most valuable midfielders in La Liga (2021).

Edited by Bhargav
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