Jose Mourinho: The manager who is outlasted by his teams
Jose Mourinho's reaction to Romelu Lukaku's barnstorming run in the closing minutes of Manchester United vs Chelsea last Sunday was enough proof of how much the victory meant to him.
The Manchester United manager has had to deal with a variety of criticism lately. From "misusing Paul Pogba" to "spreading negativity" to "not smiling a lot", some of the comments have appeared a little weird to say the least.
Jose is the quintessential pantomime villain in the English PL scene, and amidst all the criticisms and discussions of aesthetics, style of play, short term-isms, "third-season syndrome" and other such gibberish terms associated with Mourinho, one point of view often tends to get overlooked - even though he remains a coach for a short period at his clubs, he does tend to leave behind a strong team, literally and figuratively, at some of his club.
Here's a look at some of the examples:
Chelsea (2004 - 2007)
Jose joined Chelsea in 2004 after winning the Champions League with unheralded (at that time) Porto in the 2003-04 season. His team bulldozed their way to two consecutive Premier League titles and set a number of records along the way. The famous spine of Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Didier Drogba has gone down in legend as the finest to don the blue of Chelsea.
From 2004-05 to 2012-13, Chelsea ended up winning a total of 3 Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the Europa League, 4 FA Cups, and a couple of league cups, under 5 different managers. Luis Felipe Scolari and Villas-Boas were the only ones to miss out on a trophy with Chelsea in that period.
The managerial position may have remained fluid with Chelsea during those 9 years, but the core has arguably remained pivotal till the crowning glory of the 2011-12 season and no Chelsea fan will ever deny that it was Mourinho's magic that was instrumental to it.
Real Madrid (2010 - 2013)
Mourinho's time at Madrid may have been marked by strife between Barcelona and Real Madrid that spilled onto the Spanish National team but sometimes his achievements at Madrid often have the quality of being overlooked.
Not only did he wrest the league (with record goals scored) from arguably the greatest team in Barcelona's history, he also took the club to 3 consecutive semi-finals of the UEFA Champions league. To put it into context, Real had lost in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League for six consecutive seasons.
He left in a cloud, but again it was the spine of the team he left behind tjat managed to win the Champions League in the next season.
Chelsea (2013 - 2016)
The second coming of Mourinho at the Blues was something nobody anticipated but everybody looked forward to. The re-birth of the 'special one' as the 'happy one' saw Mourinho taking a new team of 'little horses' and lead them to Premier League glory at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Unfortunately, his second stint became less happy and again he had to leave amidst 'palpable' discord. However, the squad molded by Mourinho, along with a couple of additions, won the Premier League again in 2016-17 under Conte.
The current Manchester United manager has a tendency to leave clubs quite soon, and the impression that he has created is of a commander of a sinking ship. But what is often ignored with Mourinho is that the teams he builds tend to outlast him, and go on to have continued success even after he has left.
When Jose joined United, he talked about how he found a 'broken' club, and how he wants to leave the club in right condition for his successor. For someone who creates an entire different persona around him for the benefit of his team, the aforementioned points of Jose may just be what he has been doing with clubs in the past.
The evidence certainly seems to indicate the same.