Saying goodbye to Spanish football (for now or forever), Jose Mourinho didn’t point any arrows directly at someone, but at the general approach that made his ending at Real Madrid an unsuccessful one. At Chelsea they’re still waiting for a contract to be signed so they can progress with their preparations for next season, but the Portuguese manager needs a little clarifying to do on his football views.
While Mourinho has been one of the most successful, if not the most successful manager in Europe over the last 10 seasons,to hear him speak about the value of team unity and criticizing individualism is a bit weird. For someone who has set a very bad example more than once in personal and managerial behavior it sounds a tad hypocritical to start mentioning eduction and professionalism, when his final 12 months at Real Madrid looked like one huge ego battle.
I believe success depends on objectives being reached by a group, who are able to identify, establish and fight for those goals. It’s becoming more and more difficult for a group to work as one. Values have been lost – education and professionalism are becoming worse and worse. It is a problem in current society and football in particular – working as groups, not individually.
Maybe Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos were the real villains in the story. Going against their manager, and thinking that they represent the value and qualities of Real Madrid more than him. But superstars can’t be expected to simply shut up and put with everything. Not when their manager gets angry at them for putting friendships with their Spain teammates from Barcelona above the hate mongering Mourinho was busy breeding during his first couple of seasons at the club.
Mourinho himself admitted his final seasons was a failure. He looks at a season at title or no title only, although that was a little different after his first season with the club, when the Copa Del Rey was enough for him to call it a success. But when you’re not trying to win your job back and the public opinion battle is a lost cause, you don’t mind admitting failure, while sliding most of the blame to the players who didn’t respect him instead of talking about what he did wrong.
I like to open and close my coaching cycles without talking about the downsides. I’ll try not to speak to the Spanish media because of this. Twenty titles in all the countries I have coached in is a lot. I have learned that, no matter what, I want to win more times, but I’ve accepted that losing is part of my professional life.
Role model? Maybe as a tactician, especially when it comes to specific matches and preparing your team in the best way possible before big matches. But there’s so much baggage that goes along with it: The media battles, the internal battles with his own players, and the need to criticize everyone who “might be in on a huge conspiracy theory” that’s somehow always against him.
And yet Mourinho feels he’s being looked up to in more than just his footballing mind, but his behavior as well. Which means he either knows in how many ways he has to improve, or just the opposite, has quite a weird view of how managers in general should behave.
Defeat nowadays is no longer a huge drama. With the departure of Ferguson, I realize that being a relatively young coach at the top has made me feel more responsible. I have been at the top of my profession for over 10 years. I feel more and more responsible. The younger coaches expect it of me and I cannot disappoint.