The route to getting sacked as a football manager is a short one if things go down a slippery slope. It’s worse when there’s already a name waiting to replace you. Jose Mourinho isn’t really someone you want watching over your back, especially when he declares his love and passion for English football.
The immediate response is to look at Chelsea and Rafa Benitez. Benitez is doing an OK job with Chelsea, but his starting position leaves him without too many chances to make things happen this season – no longer in the Champions League, and pretty far away from Manchester United. No a lot of opportunities to make an impression, unless something improbable happens.
Benitez was signed on a 7-month contract, and the overall feeling around Stamford Bridge is that Roman Abramovich, anything but predictable in his behavior towards managers, will be looking for a different name, possibly a big name, to be the next man to hopefully not disappoint him.
Jose Mourinho doesn’t really have a future at Real Madrid, or at least that’s the way it seems right now. Maybe he’s not trying to lose on purpose but actually feels that benching Iker Casillas is the right thing to do in order to get Real Madrid back on some sort of winning track.
His relationship with Florentino Perez isn’t the best you’ll find between manager and owner, and when the titles and wins aren’t coming, falling behind Barcelona in double digit numbers before 2013 eve arrived was a tad hard to stomach for Real Madrid fans and directors. The media is no longer in-love with the special one/only one, who got away with quite a lot last season, because he was winning, leading the club to a title.
Now, he’s starting to send out feelers, thinking about what’s his next position, his next challenge. You won’t see Mourinho going to a second tier club, without the money and aspirations to match his own. You just needed to hear him talk about Malaga, after losing to them, to understand that Mourinho won’t be going anywhere without a chance to spend a lot of money in order to help him cement his legacy and own greatness.
Chelsea, despite the bad-tasting ending to his time with the club, is probably the most intriguing option. A club he knows, where he is revered by the fans, and an owner, we guess, he’s willing to work with again, knowing the wallet will be open for him to make the changes he wants to make.
Chelsea aren’t the only club linked with Mourinho – Manchester City, PSG and Liverpool are all names mentioned regarding the Portuguese manager. Manchester United won’t be available unless Alex Ferguson decided to make it so, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen in the next few months. Rafa Benitez, because of the pretty good chances he’ll be looking for another job at the end of the season, is the man who needs to be the most worried about Jose Mourinho eyeing his job.