Mour to come from Jose

Jose Mourinho is never short of a comment or opinion on matters football. The self styled special one has built a reputation as one of football’s best coaches, and his attention to detail sounds him out as possibly the best tactical mind in the modern game. 

When you look at the building blocks of his career, you wonder how he ever rose to the heady heights of his current standing in world football. As a teenager he briefly flirted with the professional game but he quickly realised his talents lay in coaching, and he set about fulfilling that dream by clinging to every vine that presented itself like Tarzan swinging through the jungle.  Each vine was another move forward for Mourinho from youth coach at lower ranked Portugese outfit Vitoria de Setubal through to assistant manager at Ovarense and significantly on to become Bobby Robson’s translator / coach at Sporting Lisbon.

The story of Mourinho we imagine has many years to run, but the one thing he has given every football loving person, is the belief to go as far they want in the game without having played a single minute in the professional ranks. Here is a man who has risen to the top of his profession by using the scientific approach. It is evident through the way his team sets up that Mourinho’s analytical nature is the driving force.

For the football purist, Mourinho represents anti football, and the players he sends out for any one game  can appear as though they have been programmed to negate and destroy, rather than play the game the way most people would like to see the game played.

The contrast couldn’t be more apparent than it is at his current club, Real Madrid. Has Mourinho bitten off more than he can chew this time, facing arguably the best club side the game of football has ever seen in Barcelona ? The style of play Mourinho’s Real have against their bitter rivals is so far detached from the total football encouraged by Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola has moulded a team that appear to know almost subconsciously where the next pass should be played, the grace and fluency of the side is sometimes breath taking, and in Lionel Messi they have the best player in world football, if not the best player the world has ever seen. Like Real, Barca are robotic in their approach to the game –  for all the right reasons, and this is why Mourinho chose the path to Real Madrid when they came calling, to do what he does best and fly in the face of adversity.

Getting Real Madrid back to what they believe is their god given right at the top of Spanish and world football, presents the last major challenge in club football for Jose Mourinho, and that challenge is  –  to quote another managing legend –  to knock Barcelona of their perch. Judging by his first couple of years in the role, Mourinho is prepared to go to any lengths to regain the higher ground over Real’s arch rivals.

Mourinho is renowned for his psychological warfare and has matched and beaten the best there is throughout the years in that field, but in Guardiola he has found a sponge who absorbs all he throws at him. On the rare occasions when Pep does lose his cool, he sends his team out and asks them to reply on his behalf and it is usually in emphatic fashion.

Mourinho is currently facing a mini revolt in the Real camp, with questions being asked for the first time in his illustrious managerial career about his sometimes negative approach, first by Cristiano Ronaldo and recently by Sergio Ramos.

He will win out, he always does, and who would bet against him one day toppling the all conquering Barcelona with his own brand of psychology and anti football. If he does reach that particular promised land he will have achieved all there is to achieve in club football, then, his sights will be set firmly on the international game and that challenge, if successful, could well elevate him to the title of greatest manager of all time.

John Collins

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