José Mourinho Has Rediscovered His Passion For The Game At Manchester United

Posted: December 17, 2016 in Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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When José Mourinho was sacked by Roman Abramovich a year ago, many people thought he had lost the plot and had reached the stage where managing a top flight football club was no longer the challenge he required.

He was well into his second coming at the club and had won the Premier League title in the previous season. So what happened?

Did he lose the players? It is an overused expression nowadays but it may have been true in this case, almost certainly with some of them.

Did he have a disagreement with the owner over transfer policy? This is also a possibility, particularly when two strong personalities, whilst aiming for the same target, may choose different weapons to get there.

Did he lose his passion for the game? The answer to this one, I think, is yes and no. To an extent the second experience at Chelsea wasn’t as Mourinho had expected. As with most things in life, going back and expecting everything to be the same is a romantic thought but rarely, if ever, the reality.

Chelsea’s players had changed. They had also become used to different managers while Mourinho had been away. His incredible success had come at clubs where one visit had been sufficient and he never showed any signs of wishing to return to any of them, not initially anyway. Chelsea was a different place for Mourinho the second time around and my guess is that he wasn’t particularly enamoured with what he saw.

Love is, of course, a two way thing and the blame for his dismissal has to be apportioned accordingly. His fault was to try and recreate his previous successes with different players who, by now, had formed different mentalities and did not appear to wish to carry out the manager’s instructions. This was typified by Eden Hazard deciding during one game that he was injured and was coming off, irrespective of what anybody else thought.

The rumblings were not good and Chelsea’s league position was even worse. Mourinho, while not necessarily being made the scapegoat, was dismissed because that was the easier option. The other option, to dismiss four or five players, was always a non-starter.

So player power had probably removed the manager from his position. It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last and actually happened to Mourinho before at Real Madrid. Despite saying that he was leaving to return to the Premier League, everybody knew that Mourinho’s relationship with the players at Madrid was virtually non-existent. To be fair, Real Madrid do possess some of the most average players with the biggest egos of any club in Europe, so they are always a difficult team to manage, even without the president being brought into the equation!

What will happen at Manchester United. José Mourinho is now a more withdrawn character. He is more cynical than before but he does appear to be finding his feet again.

If he can’t find his love for football at Manchester United he may as well retire now. The signs, however, are good. The team, whilst drawing too many games, is still on a decent unbeaten run. The players, with the exception of Juan Mata, are experiencing Mourinho’s management style for the first time and appear to be enjoying it. Mourinho himself has said that he wishes to stay at United for a long time.

Old Trafford is a place where longevity is possible, just ask Sir Alex Ferguson or Sir Matt Busby. It is necessary to win trophies to trigger the longevity and this has not always been possible, just ask Wilf McGuinness, Frank O’Farrell, Dave Sexton and David Moyes.

José Mourinho seems to be going the right way to achieve what he wants but, as with other clubs, the third season may well be the key one, we shall probably see.

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