What Dhoni’s boys need today is a ‘José Mourinho’

Modified 04 Jan 2013

Australia Training Session

If you too are still a die-hard Indian Cricket Fan, not willing to give up and pray each day to the Almighty to give back Dhoni’s ‘Midas Touch’, well then, I must say you too would be weaving many such dream-webs like me each day. If you still believe in Dhoni’s men and are still wondering what could save Team India from going down the drains, then this one is really for you, obviously I only wish if this could ever come true.

We all know that the boys in blue and going through a tough phase and so much so that Dhoni has already taken Sachin’s place; no not as our God, but as  the “punching bag” which Sachin played ever so wonderfully, shielding rest of his team-mates for years. But more than anything, we really need a miracle to save our boys from more torment and this is what propels me to think of such strange ideas. The very moment I heard that Mourinho is as good as gone once summer sets in, considering the not-so-romantic relation between him and Real Madrid, the kid in me could not help but jump out of joy.

The very thought of having ‘The Special One’ coach Manchester United brings smiles to the faces of most of  the United fans. This not because of the love-hate relationship that he shared with United, not for he was once their rival coach, but for how he has time and again proved himself worthy of being ‘The Special One’. No wonder the Portuguese is regarded by critics as one of the best football coaches of all time. Not for his antics, but for his ability to get the best out of his players each and every time, and for the fact that he believes in his team and players and treats them more like his kids than just professionals. This is evident from the relation he shares with most of the players he has coached; no one can forget the mourning by most of the Chelsea greats like Terry, Drogba and Lampard when the news of him leaving Chelsea broke out. His passion to succeed is no secret to any football fan. No wonder he brought home, in his very first year at Chelsea, their first Premier League trophy in 50 years. The following year Chelsea defended the Premier League crown and in the season following this, in 2006-07, he brought home FA Cup and League Cup, thereby winning a double, though they finished as league runners-up. He has always been controversy’s favourite child thanks to his outspoken nature, but his success both with Chelsea and Porto drive home the fact that he indeed is one of the world’s top football managers.

What Team India need today, in these times of struggle and the void left behind by Sachin Tendulkar, is inspiration and motivation. They need someone to make them start believing in themselves. They need someone who can come out bold outright and defend them right in the critic’s face and above all, they need a fearless man who can speak the following lines for them in these times of troughs, “The team is completely close. Anything you say outside, there is no chance it will go inside. So the team is really strong and compact. We know what we want and how to achieve it on the pitch.”  Mourinho, from what we all know, fits all these qualities and that too without an iota of doubt. He indeed is the best motivator ever and could deliver even with an average team (remember Inter Milan vs Barcelona in Champions League 2010). If the official reports are to be trusted, he used to scout opposition teams for his father who used to be a coach when he was a teenager. If you are one of those people who watch football occasionally, then you might miss the nuances of the beautiful game such as tactics, defensive and offensive movement. It really takes a toll on you to break down how a team ‘works’ and undoubtedly it requires more patience than what Dravid has and tactical acumen too. What India need today is a coach who can deliver this and can help us come out of this sad state of affairs. What we need is a man who has the zest and hunger for success and who takes up challenges as not obstacles, but challenges. It is not for nothing that Mourinho has to say this when he was asked about his decision to take on a high profile job at Stamford Bridge.” If I had wanted to be protected in a quiet job, I could have stayed at Porto. I would have been second, after God, in the eyes of the fans even if I had never won another thing.”

The journeyman

The journeyman

Mourinho is indeed a journeyman. He lacks loyalty with his average managerial job lasting for around two years, but in that small duration, he brings in lot of glory by means of instant success everywhere he has been. The testimony to this is a whopping 17 trophies in 7 years. Thus, characteristics of Mourinho like his drive, determination and persistence coupled with his meticulousness, are surely what any team needs today or, for that matter, what Team India needs today. As they say about the Portuguese one-man-show aka ‘The Special One’, “There’s confidence, there’s arrogance and there’s José Mourinho. He came, he saw and he conquered English football. Winning all trophies the English game has on offer”. Our Coach has to be a similar one. There is always a very fine line between what a genius is and what madness entails and like we all know, José Mourinho walks that line with self-confidence.

But the question is, will he be able to sustain the high pressures of being coach of the Indian side? Will he be regarded well in the nation where Cricket is more than a religion? Well, I would like to say that this guy is a big enough character who can bear the weight of expectation that comes with high profile jobs – jobs where legends are made and villains pelted stones at.

And guess what? Even if Mourinho fails to deliver with the Indian Team, he need not be worried about his future or be insecure about his job. The most obvious reason for this is that we don’t have a Roman Abramovich as the owner of the Indian Cricket Team but BCCI. Now if Duncan Fletcher could stay on for so long, then José Mourinho could be in power even until ‘Chota Sachin’ aka Arjun Sachin Tendulkar scores his fiftieth hundred.

So now as I end this dream, let us put some established facts which are more than obvious. Like my friend, Godwin Bennett, rightly pointed out to me once he read this draft, “Ganguly-Wright partnership was the best for India because the Captain was aggressive and not the Coach. In India we don’t need an aggressive coach and we have a very good example of Greg Chappell to tell us tales about it. That’s the problem with The Indian Cricket Team and The English Football Team, our players are considered great and not the coaches.” I could not help but agree to him and then I could only come up with a reply “Let dreams be dreams, don’t spoil this one for me. I know it isn’t possible, but the child in me still believes!!! ”

Published 03 Jan 2013
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