Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho
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Jose Mario dos Santos Felix Mourinho

Current Club/Country: N/A.

Previous Clubs/Countries: Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Porto, Leiria, Benfica.

Honours: World's Best Club Coach 2011, 2009, 2004, 2003. European Champions League 2009/10, 2003/04. English Premier League 2014/15, 2005/06, 2004/05. FA Cup 2006/07. League Cup 2016/17, 2014/15, 2006/07, 2004/05. Spanish La Liga 2011/12. Spanish Cup 2010/11. Spanish Super Cup 2012/13. Serie A 2009/10, 2008/09. Italian Cup 2009/10. Italian Super Cup 2008/09. Portugese League 2003/04, 2002/03. Portugese Cup 2002/03. UEFA Cup 2002/03. Europa League 2016/17. Portugese Super Cup 2002/03. Community Shield 2016/17, 2005/06.

Mourinho has had massive success with a style of play that can best be described as pragmatic, not just on the defensive side but also the willingness to do whatever it takes to win, bending, or even breaking, the rules if need be. There is the famous story of him hiding in the laundry basket to get round a ban on being in the dressing room to give a half-time talk, but that is just an example of his pushing the boundary.

His team are also adept at diving, play acting, time wasting, fouling and any other way of getting a result. His focus is on a physical approach to overpower the opponent, with just one or two flair players to provide creativity. When it works it is effective but never pretty, though fans seldom care when the results are good.

Initially he used extensive preparation, even a lower league side drawn in the cup would be the subject of a thick dossier of information on every player, how they play, the foot they kicked with, the moves they favour, the tactics the team used, the style of play, just about everything to help him win. Those dossiers were also produced on players he was interested in signing to help him convince them to join, explaining how he would use them in his system.

A large part of his success was down to his ability to protect the players from the media and also to bring them together as a group and make it them against the world. Unfortunately of late, that ability to deflect attention away from the players and take the blame onto himself has left him and instead it has become all about him. It seems the acclaim has gone to his head and inflated his ego, or it could just be that the new generation of players are just not connecting with him in the way the previous one did. Hard to say for sure, but he no longer has that gloss of glory around him that he once had.

Mourinho's us against the world technique to bring the team together is just causing fractures in the squad and part of the team to turn on him. Added to that, he has lost his smile. That cheeky grin which used to keep a proportion of the media on his side as it won them over, even when they disagreed with what he said. Despite the way he played, he was likeable in the media, until he went to Real Madrid. Since then he has been a different person during press conferences, something that has affected the public perception of him.

The ready smile and quick wit was replaced by a snarl and constant growls about how many trophies he had won. Going hand-in-hand with his pettiness with the media was his loss of the Midas touch he once had. Suddenly his teams were falling apart around his ears as Mourinho no longer had the players in the palm of his hand, they were not responding to his methods and some were turning on him.

Maybe the break from the game he has been enjoying since being removed as Man Utd boss is exactly what he needs to rediscover the freshness that made him so successful and entertaining. Though he will have to do more than merely having teams that are physically stronger and faster than the opposition and who can defend well. Mourinho no longer has the edge in his preparation, as most of the top managers prepare just as diligently with extensive dossiers on opponents. He will need to find a way to put himself once more at the forefront of new ideas, like he once was.

Requested by Eamonsf