Jose Mourinho completed a hat trick of the dreaded third season syndrome with Chelsea this season, culminated in him getting the sack the past weekend although it was widely accepted that the players had been vastly underperforming. With rumours stretching from an inside rat to a full blown player mutiny, it was extremely clear that Mourinho had lost the dressing room and with it, had lost any hope of turning around the dreadful season for the Blues which saw them one point clear of relegation zone just the penultimate match from the Boxing day fixtures.
1. The Basics
Mourinho is a legend in the managerial world simply due to his achievements which are staggering considering he has yet to hit 60. He has won titles in Portugal, England, Spain and Italy along with a couple of Champions League successes which includes the incredible capture of the trophy with FC Porto. He won the Premier League again with Chelsea just the last season and will clearly be a hot property amongst the elite clubs, especially the ones which are desperately seeking a return to their past glories.
Considering that Jose Mourinho has already travelled a huge amount in his storied career means that there are many top clubs ruled out to have him such as Arsenal, Barcelona, Benfica, Liverpool and AS Roma where he is a revered villain due to his differences with these clubs.
The most important quality of Mourinho is that he guarantees trophies. When he returned to Chelsea, he took a side from 70 odd points to a total of 83 which is just 4 short of City’s return to win the league and can be enough to win the title more often than not.
Keeping this in mind, we consider clubs which have dropped off their previous crest and desperately want to return to their former glories or clubs which had initiated projects but have so far failed to justify those transfer outlays.
a. Manchester United:
Manchester United loathed Mourinho simply because he ended Sir Alex Ferguson’s tight hold on the EPL title with the couple of magical seasons with Chelsea and initiated a rivalry with his win at the Old Trafford enroute to capturing the Champions League with Porto.
But he wins. A lot. And hence it would be hard for Woodward and co to look farther than the ex-Chelsea manager to replace the faltering Louis van Gaal who has lost both the fans as well as the dressing room. Also, with Mourinho admitting that he would never want to manage a club in the Europa league, it seems a distant possibility that he agrees to manage a club which is in the exact same competition.
Another major stumbling block will be the fact that Mourinho has just been sacked for an abysmal half season in the same league as United and it might be a high stakes gamble considering that Manchester United have already had a massive transfer outlay in the previous couple of seasons and have to start showing returns or risk fury from their public investors.
Another issue is the fact that Mourinho is a self-admitted Chelsea fan through and through and would not risk hurting his legacy at the London club by joining their direct rivals.
b. Real Madrid:
Rafa Benitez’s appointment has been a disaster and it is clear that he won’t be staying past the current season, assuming he manages to last this one in the first place. Real have seemingly lined up Zidane as his replacement but it wouldn’t be very surprising if Perez turned back to the manager who won them their only title in the last 8 years. With Casillas having left for Porto and Ronaldo seemingly on the move next season, Mourinho wouldn’t inherit the same fractured dressing room he inherited before and would guarantee a La Liga title within the next couple of seasons.
There could be no better appointment for Perez with respect to the Real Madrid fans who simply adored the Portuguese manager for his intense rivalry with Barcelona, mirroring their own.
The stumbling blocks include the fact that Mourinho is a pragmatist and even though he isn’t as defensive as Rafa Benitez, he still doesn’t possess an attacking mind-set. Also, it would be a given that he takes control of the transfer policy and in true Mourinho fashion, shuns out the big names and instead puts up positions on the team based on their performances. This is something which had irked the likes of Pepe and Casillas before.
Another elephant in the room will be Cristiano Ronaldo who has a fractured relationship with his compatriot. Ronaldo is a known narcissist and doesn’t take suggestions to improve very kindly while Mourinho is a totalitarian and guarantees trophies with proper execution of instructions. It will be a fiery atmosphere in the dressing room if Ronaldo and Mourinho clashed again over the latter’s lack of dedication to anything other than personal glory.
c. Paris Saint Germain:
PSG have dominated the French Ligue Un ever since the injection of cash from their Qatari investors and hence the league is a bare minimum expectation of any manager at PSG. Blanc has delivered that for two seasons in a row but where he has failed is in the Champions league where he had been outclassed first by Mourinho and then Barcelona at the Quarter Final stages the last two seasons. With a world class squad, it is being seen as a major disappointment and could well mean the boot for Blanc
Also, Mourinho has never managed in the French League and would see it as an attractive destination for completing his set of league trophies over the continent. With a squad consisting of Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Matuidi, Silva and Di Maria, Mourinho would have all the right ingredients to make a deep run in the Champions League or even win it.
Stumbling blocks include the fact that Mourinho has never stated any desire to coach in the country before and also sees it as a tier 2 nation with its fall from grace over the last decade or so.
Another pressing point is the fact that Blanc has done a great job over at the Parc de Princes and has been impressive with his victory over Chelsea the last season. They lost to the team which eventually won the competition and made it a treble and hence it could be a case of bad luck for the French team. In the league, ever since the early season scares for PSG, there has been no club even close to touching them over the next season and a half with PSG literally obliterating competition and proving themselves to be the consistent winners, which is difficult considering there is almost zero motivation for the Paris club with extremely disappointing competition provided from the league’s other clubs.
It is clear that Mourinho would not be out of job for long and will definitely be among the elites by the next summer at most. PSG seems the most suitable to him but have no real reason to fire their manager yet meanwhile Manchester United and Real Madrid want to move on from their failed managerial appointments but would rather not get their hands burnt by the Mourinho effect and his antics.
Manchester United is his destination if we believe the reports from major newspapers but it wouldn’t be very surprising if Mourinho joined a club like PSG or even Real Madrid as he intends to preserve his legacy at the club in his heart, Chelsea.