What Drives The Likes Of Jose Mourinho & Pep Guardiola?

Posted: January 28, 2016 in Chelsea, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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Given that the top coaches in club football have a few million £/€/$ in their bank accounts, why would they want to take up positions where, at best, they win a trophy at a club where that is the least that is expected anyway and, at worst, they face a humiliating exit, sacked for failing to deliver the least that was expected anyway?

One of the obvious answers to this question is, “not money!” So what is a less obvious answer?

If we take Jose Mourinho as the first example, he is driven by the desire to succeed. As with many megalomaniacs he only desires success at the top level. He doesn’t see taking over a first division side, as Brian Clough did for example, as his type of challenge. It would take too long and Jose craves almost instant success.

Mourinho wanted to win the title in three countries. He has achieved that. He also wants to win the Champion’s League with three different clubs, he is one away from achieving that particular goal. His problem is that, if he were to take a job at a lower league club, then the chances of attaining his particular goals are reduced tremendously.

The two clubs with whom he managed to win the Champion’s League were, arguably, two of his biggest challenges as neither were among Europe’s elite. Winning with Porto was a remarkable achievement in itself but winning it again with unfancied and ageing Inter Milan was, to my mind, a greater achievement. Particularly when you consider that they had to beat the great Barcelona team on the way.

He also says that he wants to retire while still having plenty of time to enjoy life. This would mean that his friend Sir Alex Ferguson and his old mentor Sir Bobby Robson had no influence on him at all in that respect. He has no intention of carrying on managing into his seventies. Or so he says at present, anyway!

So, my last article, suggesting that he was distancing himself from Manchester United, maybe to become more desirable or, more likely, the job isn’t as attractive as he once thought, was not written to suggest that he couldn’t win a trophy with that team, but that he may have difficulties with some of the personnel he would be expected to work with. Certainly with one in particular when it came to transfers and not getting his target.

The problem for Jose is that, if United is not his next port of call, then who is? It has to be a team in Europe’s top ten. It has to be a team in a country in which he would be happy to live and, preferably, speaks the language.

He can afford to wait, of course. If, for example, he does want the United job and sees that his chances will be better if van Gaal stays there until the end of the season, which is probably true, he may find his detractors at Old Trafford warming to him a little more.

We await with interest the next move.

The second example is Pep Guardiola. Although younger than Mourinho and not as well travelled, he seems similar in a lot of ways.

Having tasted massive success with Barcelona as player and manager it came as a surprise to some people when he decided to pursue a new challenge. As with Mourinho he had tasted managerial success at a young age, also as with Mourinho, he wanted to try his hand away from his country of birth. He is another one who likes to learn a different language occasionally!

Again this megalomaniacal trait of not wanting to manage teams in the lower leagues came to the fore and he chose Bayern Munich, much to the surprise of most people, who thought he would go to the English Premier League.

The problem with this choice, as I see it, was that it didn’t turn out to be quite the challenge that he either expected or wanted. He won the Bundesliga and German Cup with relative ease in his first season and now, into his second season, has already wrapped up the Bundesliga title again. Pep can hardly call his time in Munich ‘challenging’, although he would like to end it with the European Cup in the trophy cabinet to add a little icing to the cake.

He even admitted to being bored by the Winter break taken in Germany so, all in all, just one to put down to experience. A ‘stopping-off point’ if you like, on his way to the Premier League.

Next season, of course, will see him behind a desk in Manchester. The clever money is on that desk being a neat shade of sky-blue and white. His friends have been there a while preparing for his arrival and he will want for nothing if City is his choice.

If, however, the silly money is correct and the desk turns out to be a neat shade of red and white then more fun will be had by all. It would certainly represent a different, and probably greater, challenge than the City job.

There are people at Old Trafford with whom he would not immediately gel. He would not be happy with the way transfer business is conducted under Ed Woodward. There are a number of things he would wish to change. He may just think that there are too many obstacles at Manchester United, which would prevent him doing the job he loves best, coaching.

So my money has to go along with the smart money and assume that he is going to City.

Wherever these great managers end up plying their trade they will not be doing so for nothing. They will be very well paid whether they succeed or not. That is not why they do it. They do it to be considered the best in Europe, maybe the World, at what they do. It’s called pride.

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Comments
  1. RedMe says:

    I ask myself was the Bayern Munich job really a challenge ? Taking over a team that just won the treble after all. The big challenge was probably the language. Pep already speaks good english and I can’t see him working well with Woodward and probably for the same reason Jose isn’t there yet.
    The rot for United started with Woodward and that is where it needs to end. Manchester United want stability and I believe neither Jose nor Pep will stay very long in one place. They want quick success but can’t face it when it doesn’t go like they want and in that matter they could be twins. As good as they are neither have really built a team and taken it to success time and time again like SAF.

    Liked by 1 person

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