Home Football English Football Love Him Or Loathe Him, José Mourinho Is A Winner

Love Him Or Loathe Him, José Mourinho Is A Winner

José Mourinho is one of the most successful managers ever but has divided opinion ever since his extraordinary Champions League success with Porto in 2003. 

Chelsea fans loved him when he led them to consecutive Premier League titles in 2004/05 and 05/06, backed him when he was sacked by owner Roman Abramovich, rejoiced at his return in 2013 and then resented him when he joined rivals Manchester United in 2016.

He guided Inter Milan to their first ever Champions League success in 2009 and they became the first Italian side in history to win the treble.

Mourinho won the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid in 2011 and won La Liga the following year, beating Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona to the title, arguably one of the best sides of all time.

Then came his return to Chelsea in 2013, where he won another Premier League title.

Mourinho was sacked prematurely a second time by Abramovich, and United snapped at the opportunity to install him as their new manager.

Mourinho won the Community Shield, the League Cup and the Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford. In his second season, he reached the FA Cup Final and finished second behind the best Premier League side of all time (as Manchester City’s points tally suggests.) Yet, many United fans still want to see him sacked.

The point is, everywhere Mourinho goes, he wins trophies.

The press also has a mixed relationship with the Portuguese. On the one side, he’s a grumpy, arrogant man to interview, and always has someone to blame when his side loses. On the other hand, he always makes great headlines.

Mourinho is adamant that the English media are “manhunting” him, and recently stormed out of a press conference asking to be shown more respect.

After United’s dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle in October, Mourinho said:

“A lot of things have been directed at me personally,” he said. “There is too much talking. I have begun to feel that if it rains in London tomorrow it is my fault. If people don’t like Brexit it is my fault.”

Mourinho brings a lot of the controversy, criticism and media attention he receives upon himself. He complained and got riled up when Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni extravagantly celebrated Ross Barkley’s stoppage-time equaliser against United at Stamford Bridge in October. But, Mourinho is no stranger to getting caught in the heat of the moment.

He ran down the touchline swinging his arms when Inter Milan knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League and performed a knee slide in front of the Barca fans.

After Manchester United’s late comeback against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, Mourinho put hand to his ear to celebrate.

However, If you can dish it out, you have to be able to take it. Mourinho can have no complaints over the actions of the Chelsea coach, because, when it comes to provoking the opposition, he is the main culprit.

For understandable reasons, many football fans do not like Mourinho.

Some think that Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp or Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino have overtaken him in the managerial ranks.

Klopp has vastly improved the team that he took over in 2015 and it looks like all the Liverpool players love playing for him. The media love Klopp because he plays exciting football, hugs his players and is always smiling, even in defeat. This may make him more likeable than Mourinho, but not a better manager.

Pochettino has also been outstanding for Tottenham with a very limited transfer budget. Spurs have a net spend of just £50 million since the Argentinian took over in 2015, as the club attempts to keep money tight as they begin paying off the loans for their new stadium.

Klopp and Pochettino are both outstanding managers, but until they win a trophy with their respective clubs, they cannot be compared to Mourinho in terms of success.

Mourinho is not shy about how successful he has been in the past or how many trophies he has won. He put three fingers up to the Chelsea fans who booed him, highlighting the three Premier League titles he won with Chelsea and similarly, put three fingers up to the Juventus fans, pointing to the historic treble he won with rivals Inter Milan.

After Manchester United’s poor start to the season, Mourinho backed himself to turn things around at Old Trafford in a press conference at the end of August. 

“I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world,” he said.

When asked whether he would still claim that to be the case if he failed to win a Premier League title at Old Trafford, he replied: “Of course.”

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Mourinho and Manchester United got off to a terrible start to the 2018/19 season, losing two of their opening three games, leading some fans to call for him to be replaced with former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

However, although he may not play the most attractive football in the world, Mourinho gets results.

His late but great win against one of the Champions League favourites on Wednesday night proved that. Juventus were by far the superior side, but Mourinho managed to snatch the points with a free-kick from Juan Mata and an own goal from Alex Sandro.

Mourinho and Manchester United will come up against the toughest test of their season so far when they travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Guardiola’s team are unbeaten in the league so far and have vastly improved their defence from last season, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte forming a formidable centre-back partnership. City have scored 12 goals in their last two matches and are in unbelievable form heading into the Manchester derby.

However, as he shown at every club he has been at, Mourinho knows how to cause an upset. Although City won the title last season by a landslide, Mourinho made sure to do his best to spoil the City party with a 3-2 win at the Etihad.

Many United fans are unsure over Mourinho because they are used to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson when United used to win games by outplaying and attacking the opposition from the outset.

The Portuguese may not guarantee that, but the value of his knowledge and experience of how to win big games cannot be overestimated.

Mourinho is well aware that trophies are won in May, not in November, and a fair judgment on United’s season can only be delivered then. The win against Juventus could prove to be a turning point for Mourinho and Manchester United.

Whether you love him or loathe him, the Manchester United manager’s winning mentality and track record, combined with his recently signed long-term contract mean that Mourinho is going nowhere just yet.

About Joseph McBrien

Student Journalist at NUIG. I have a passion for sports journalism, especially football. @joseph_mcbrien