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Opinion: Jose Mourinho is struggling to evolve with the modern game

  • Jose Mourinho must learn to deal with the modern-day footballer if he is to achieve further success.
Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 06 Mar 2020, 22:43 IST

Jose MouThe man under fire.
Jose Mourinho:The man under fire.

After Tottenham's disappointing defeat at home to Norwich in the FA Cup, it would appear that Jose Mourinho's reign as boss is turning sour sooner than many had predicted.

Brought in to win the trophies that had been so lacking during Mauricio Pochettino's time in charge, a run of four straight defeats in all competitions has left Spurs out of the FA Cup, on the brink of exiting Europe and sliding down the Premier League table.

Unfortunately for Mourinho, once hailed as the greatest manager of his generation, this run of poor form is indicative of the decline of his managerial skills.

Quite simply Mourinho is yesterday's man, an angry, sulking manager struggling to recapture his former glories and has shown a complete inability to deal with the challenges presented by the modern footballer.

When you look at his career more closely there are two distinct periods - one of unprecedented success and then one of struggle.

The turn of the millennium saw the Portuguese inspire his players at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan to extraordinary success.

At Porto he won two league titles, a Portuguese Cup, a UEFA Cup before upsetting the odds and claiming a Champions League crown.

From there 'The Special One' took over Roman Abramovich's project at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cup's and the 2005 Community Shield.

Next up was a hugely successful spell at Inter Milan, completing the treble of Italian league title, domestic cup and Champion's League in 2009-10.

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What was evident in each of these spells was the relationship that Mourinho had with his players. When Mourinho left Inter, one of the toughest men in football, Marco Materazzi, was reduced to tears. The story of Mourinho telling Frank Lampard he was the best player in the world as he came out of the shower is one that has gone into football folklore.

What was clear during his most successful periods was that his players were fully committed to their manager. This has not necessarily been the case in the second half of Mourinho's career.

His time at Real Madrid was plagued by rumours of fallouts with key players such as Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, and in his following spells at Chelsea and Manchester United there were also suggestions that he had lost the dressing room before losing his job.

At Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan he was dealing with proper professionals focused on getting better and doing everything they could to win trophies and improve. At his following jobs he has been dealing with clubs with players with huge egos, and more easily distracted by outside influences, and Mourinho has struggled. He has failed to secure the confidence of the dressing room and that has been his biggest failure in terms of applying his plans.

Unless he adapts to the changing times, his career in management, once destined to see him become one of the veritable legends, will continue to end in acrimony everywhere he goes.


Published 06 Mar 2020, 22:43 IST
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