3 Years: A Comprehensive Look at Mourinho’s Real Madrid

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The Numbers

Mourinho’s Best Season: 2011-2012

Pos/Team W D L Pts
#1 Real Madrid 32 4 2 100
#2 Barcelona 28 7 3 91
#3 Valencia 17 10 11 61
GF GA GD
121 32 +89

Most Goals Scored in a Game in that season: 7

Most Goals Conceded in a Game in that season: 3

Best Result: 6 November 2011 Real Madrid 7 – 1 Osasuna

Win Rate: 79.31%

Most Points Achieved in the Six Main European Leagues by Any Coach

Country Team Season Points
Spain Real Madrid 2011-2012 100
England Chelsea 2004-2005 95
Germany Bayern Munich 2012-2013 91
Portugal Porto 2002-2003 86

Records set by Mourinho in Bold

More Records by Mourinho in the historic 32 League Title Win:

Most wins by any team in La Liga: 32

Most Points by any team in La Liga: 100

Heavy victory rate (3 or more goals): 62%

Comebacks: 9

Most Goals: 121 

Biggest Goal Difference: +89

Most Away Victories: 16

Most Away Goals: 51

Most Away Points: 50

Overall Record at Madrid

W L D
122 22 37

Trophies

  • 2011-2012 La Liga
  • 2010-2011 Copa del Rey
  • 2012 Super Copa de España

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Accomplishments of Other Coaches with at least 3 consecutive years at Madrid (50s onward)

  • José Villalonga December 1954 – April 1957: 2 League Titles, 2 UCL Titles, 2 Latin Cups

  • Miguel Muñoz 1960-1974: 9 League Titles, 3 Spanish Cups, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 2 UCL Titles

  • Miljan Miljanić May 1974 – September 1977: 2 League Titles, 1 Spanish Cup

  • Vujadin Boškov March 1979 – June 1982: 1 League Title, 2 Spanish Cups

  • Vicente del Bosque November 1999 – June 2003: 2 League Titles, 1 Super Cup, 2 UCL Titles, 1 Intercontinental Cup

Coach Seasons Major Trophies
Miguel Muñoz 16 14
Vicente del Bosque 4 4
Jose Villalonga 3 4
Miljan Miljanić 3 3
Vujadin Boškov 3 3
Jose Mourinho 3 2

excluding SuperCups, Latin Cups, Intercontinental Cups

The Good

  • The team became more competitive domestically and in Europe thanks to Mourinho’s efforts in resurrecting Real Madrid’s winning mentality

Madrid’s League Record Before Mourinho

Season Pos W/D/L Points
09-10 2 31/3/4 96
08-09 2 25/3/10 78
07-08 1 27/4/7 85

With Mourinho:

Season Pos W/D/L Points
12-13* 2 25/6/5 81
11-12 1 32/4/2 100
10-11 2 29/5/4 92

*Season still ongoing

Madrid’s UCL Record Before Mourinho

Season Phase Eliminated To
09-10 Round of 16 Lyon
08-09 Round of 16 Liverpool
07-08 Round of 16 Roma

With Mourinho:

Season Phase Eliminated To
12-13 Semis BVB
11-12 Semis Bayern
10-11 Semis Barcelona

Madrid’s Spanish Cup Record Before Mourinho

Season Phase Eliminated To
09-10 Round of 32 Alcorcon (3rd Div)
08-09 Round of 32 Real Union (3rd Div)
07-08 Round of 16 Mallorca

With Mourinho:

Season Phase Eliminated To
12-13 Finals Atletico de Madrid
11-12 Quarters Barcelona
10-11 Winner N/A
  • Purchases

Mourinho has brought some excellent players, despite having bad fame for previous buys in other teams, such as Sami Khedira who has become a leading midfielder in the global scene, Essien who came on loan and was critical in surviving 3 competitions and dozens of injuries and Luka Modric who, despite criticisms, has become an integral part to a Madrid team that thrives on midfielders just as much as it does on wingers.

  • Youth Team

Despite reports to the contrary, Mourinho has brought about 26 Fabrica players to debut 16 of which were in official competions (Adán, Nacho, Morata, Álex, Jesé, Casado, Mateos, Jesús, Joselu, Mejías, Mendes, Pacheco, Sarabia, Rodriguez, Cheryshev and Juan Carlos) and 7 who made their debut but were ultimately sold:

Carvajal (Bayer Leverkusen), Joselu (Hoffenheim), Mandi (Sporting), Sarabia (Getafe), Juan Carlos (Betis), Mendes (Sporting de Portugal) and Pablo Gil (Sparta de Praga).

Despite only having Adan, Nacho, Rodriguez and Morata disputing more than 90 minutes, the effort is impacting when compared to recent predecessors at Madrid.

  • Individual Player Tactics and Extracting Potential

If there is one player who elevated themselves in large part to Mourinho it would have to be Marcelo. He went from a Mourinho snub to a Mourinho favorite quickly and became a regular Brazil and Madrid starter despite having Coentrao to compete with.

Essien is a player who seemingly had his best days behind him and little to look forward to before coming to Madrid, but the Ghanaian on loan has become an integral part of the squad who has been featured in multiple roles as regular comodin for the team as it has dealt with issues of form and health.

Coentrao elevated his game out of necessity as Marcelo found himself plagued by injuries in recent times and has managed to become a balanced fullback who is able to exert himself physically in defense but also manages the occasional flash of grace as he pushes upward.

Tactically, two players have benefited the most from Mourinho’s methods: Ramos and Cristiano. Finding himself drowned out in the 9 role under Pelligrini, Cristiano was placed in the winger slot once again as Mourinho determined him to be “too talented” for the 9 hole. The freedom and priority given to the Portuguese star has permitted him to be a Pichichi winner and regular scorer who breaches 40 goals with ease per season under Mourinho.

Ramos came to Madrid as a CB from Sevilla but was eventually shifted to the extremity, a role he was accustomed to with La Roja. Under Mourinho, Ramos has gone from a good Right Back to one of the world’s best Center Backs. His physical dominance coupled with his offensive nature permit Xabi Alonso space to better control the naval and partner Varane and Pepe to alternate in aggressions. He has carried this over to the Roja where he has taken on the role of filling out a difficult role once ran by the mythical Puyol. His pairings with Pique, when successful, have been some of the world’s best in the back line. One could also argue that Mourinho’s clash with captain Iker Casillas has also brought out a more mature man out of Ramos as he has been forced to undertake the role of Captain in recent matches. He has shown more discipline in the area, when he crosses the line he has shown humility with his opponents (Ramos vs. Lewa) afterwards and has been a constant presence pushing the team onward as they have found themselves dozens of times behind the marker.

  • Tactics in General

Barcelona seemed unbeatable under Guardiola, but Mourinho managed it more than once. His methods were criticized (Xavi: “El futbol a perdido hoy” pfft) by many, but they were indisputably effective. As time has passed, Mourinho has evolved his scheme from full out defense to a more controlled and precise counter-attacking scheme that mixes both defense and physicality (http://youtu.be/LXfQO3TLfQ4[4] ). Physicality… if there is one word to describe this Madrid it would be that word (http://youtu.be/vO8ppE4uChc[5] .

  • Voicing the Need to Unify the Lower Division Squads Tactically

He failed in this but he spoke out at the very least and was spot on. To survive year after year without having to rely on 11 foreigners Madrid needs to imitate their rivals and start applying tactics across the board (no Nacho at CB when the #1 asks for him at RB). Despite failing, no one can deny his wisdom in his demand and hopefully the next coach will ask the same thing.

  • Entertainment

I hate the fact that with Mourinho, the press, the cameras, and the fans look more at the Portuguese manager than the team at times. But that is just me. Others find it amusing (http://youtu.be/nPmDpzYO2_U[6] ), entertaining, and a reason to open up the tabloids, reddit, and the matches. Take this as you will but, regardless, it serves as the perfect segue onto the bad.

The Bad

Mourinho-Casillas-banquillo-Bernabeu-comienzo-partido-Real

  • Mourinho’s biggest failure is the lack of a UCL trophy.

In 2003 a coach once said, “Coaching Real Madrid is very easy. They have so many players of so much quality that even their coach could hang up trophies with the first 11 to arrive at training.”

10 years later that man is now eating his words (hint: Mourinho said that). It turned out that coaching a team with unlimited resources isn’t as easy as he thought. But why? That is up for debate. I would like to point out that last year, the team was more unified than ever as Ozil and Di Maria were assisting at will, Cristiano was scoring over 40, Higuain and Benzema were scoring about 40 together and everyone seemed… peachy. This year that all fell apart and Madrid is now going through a pretty tough season and has ended with no trophies despite having half a billion in players, millions in wages, and a Mourinho with all the power a manager can dream of. I repeat though… to each his own interpretation.

  • Mourinho destabilized the club by engaging in a conflict with the locker room

I’m not talking about blame. What little has been said or seen does not paint a clear picture. What is clear is that whatever happened, Mourinho couldn’t resolve it. A coach shouldn’t engage in a conflict. He should resolve and let it be.

Let us imagine for a second that Iker is the one at blame. Mourinho can sit him and say, “Iker has been struggling in form but I am sitting him for reasons related to discipline.” And that is that. But no, it wasn’t just that. Iker remained quiet throughout this whole ordeal as Mourinho took jab after jab after jab as if he was venting out some long standing frustration. In 2011 he said Iker deserved a Balon d’Or. Earlier this year he said Adan was in better form (everyone quickly saw that he was not). A bit ago, he publicly said that he wished he had Lopez two years ago. Mourinho, whatever the conflict was, buried himself in that affair and ended up dividing the club, the fans and the administration.

This was his biggest war but not his only one. Here are the battles Mourinho has engaged in:

  • Mourinho vs. Iker Casillas

  • Mourinho vs. Benzema: Mourinho called Benzema a cat after having no other 9 to deal with as he referred to Higuain as a hunting dog (mind you this is in the same world were the title TIGER goes to people like Falcao and Eto’o is called the Lion). He constantly mentioned in press conferences that he wanted another 9 (hence his first rupture with Valdano), that Benzema and Higuain together were the perfect 9 but individually they were not, etc. Some of this can be interpreted in different ways but as a professional there is no doubt that at least some of it hurts just a bit, true or not. To this day, Benzema has yet to show his best form.

  • Mourinho vs. Valdano: Valdano told Mourinho he had another 9 in Morata. In the end, Mourinho had the right of it as Higuain was injured and Benzema was his last resort. Despite this, in their best season, the two strikers managed over 20 despite having to rotate in the league. The problem? Mourinho took the battle to the press. Valdano responded and fast forward… Valdano is sacked and Mourinho assumes direct control of the sporting director duties, an unprecedented event.

  • Mourinho vs. the Fans: He criticized the fans for being too passive. Again, he is in the right but his methods were found offensive to many.

  • Mourinho vs. Del Bosque: Mourinho has had his clashes with Del Bosque since the UEFA tournament where Mourinho criticized the use of the false 9 without Messi (and was right despite Spain going on to win). Later, when the conflicts with Iker came words were interchanged between the two, most notably regarding the FIFA Manager award.

  • Mourinho vs. FIFA: He claimed the votes were suspicious. Again, he was right. But his method was lousy as he boycotted the ceremony and went public with it. Despite being right it did not contribute to anything as the margin was too big for it to matter. All it did was promote strife among the Spanish fans of VDB and himself.

  • Mourinho vs. RFEF: He denounced the refs through lists, criticisms on the pitch, off the pitch, in parking lots, in locker rooms. He had the right of it in a FEW instances but again… his methods were atrocious. The sensitivity that refs hold for Mou could be seen in the recent loss to Atletico de Madrid as he was quickly removed from the game for vocally criticizing a decision.

Mourinho vs. UEFA: He claimed they had interest in Barca’s progress throughout the competition. He was fined and suspended and rightly so.

Mourinho vs. Opponent Staff: He turned a great rivalry helmed by two of the best coaches on Earth into a petty war of words that quickly evolved into clashes on the pitch. Every time he lost he criticized the refs, he said Guardiola’s UCL win was a shameful one, etc. etc. etc. He clashed with many other coaches, most famously with Tito “Pito” (as Mou once called him) Villanova… Eye don’t need to get into that as Eye’m sure you know what happened. Eye (he poked Tito’s eye in case you are missing it).

eye-poke

Mourinho vs. Pelligrini: Before facing Malaga in 2011 he said, “the difference between Pelligrini and me is that after Madrid I would never coach Malaga.” In January of this year he ‘corrected his words’ after having his handed to him by Pelligrini by saying he’d never coach other clubs and that he meant nothing by it. True? Perhaps. Rude? Absolutely.

**EDIT: Thanks to TheByronicNomad for the correction.

Mourinho vs. players: If you belong to a team that Madrid has played you probably can think of something Mourinho did or say to piss you off (unless you are Manchester United) so I leave this to you (eg. Mourinho pretending to smell something terrible as Messi walks past him).

Mourinho vs. Di Maria: He criticized Di Maria justly over his drop in performance. His method though… you get the picture right? He asked why he played so poor after getting a contract extension and criticized him publicly for not getting up fast enough after a foul/injury to allow the play to continue during extra time. Right? Yes. Graceful? Like a trucker doing ballet.

Mourinho vs. the Press: Both sides acted disgusting in this regard, the press more so. But in the end, they are the press. The press as in sellers of papers, ads, etc. Mourinho however is a professional manager of one of the most prestigious clubs on Earth.

Mourinho vs. Schedules: he claimed Madrid was being disfavored in match scheduling (this turned out to be false).

Mourinho vs. Toril: He was right. Toril needed to follow Mou’s tactics so that the B players could more easily integrate into the A team. His methods however…. It went public, sides were chosen and ultimately Buitre came out and said that Toril is untouchable.

Mourinho vs. the voters of Balon d’Or awards not awarded to him or Cristiano: Either he felt it was suspicious or that it was fraudulent. He made some strong arguments but his methods, his reputation failed to garner much public support.

Mourinho vs. Me: He has had too many conflicts to list and my fingers hurt.

In most of his battles, Mourinho has had the right of it (sitting Iker, sitting Ramos, the press, form, my fingers etc.). But his methods have been unworthy of a club like Real Madrid. Real Madrid has been unworthy of itself at times (treatment of Del Bosque, Raul, Jupp, etc.). I admit it. But in the end, the next administration will chastise the previous and the cycle will continue, hopefully towards progress… hopefully. Regardless, Madrid is a club of traditions, proud (to a fault sometimes) of its history, its pillars and institutions. In Mourinho’s case, he simply fought too many battles. In memory of Godwin’s Law, he pretty much busted a Hitler and had too many battles on too many fronts and the world around him caved.

For instance, I am happy Moyes got the job at Manchester and not Mourinho. Not only because I’m sure Mourinho would have done well there winning wise and Madrid in turn would suffer because of it, but also because I feel he would have done the same thing at Manchester United that he did at Madrid and I feel that the Red Devil followers (who I admire tremendously) deserve a tad bit more class and grace than that. Winning is important. But winning isn’t everything (as SAF learned and appreciate in his first years at the club) and that is something that Madrid and Mourinho have hopefully learned throughout this saga.

Disclosure: There may be the odd error in numbers and type-o’s and you probably will disagree with a lot I have to say especially if you have a Mourinho tattoo on your lower back. That is okay. My intent is not to educate but to promote discussion. Also, there is a lot of the bad AND THE Good was left out… I’d love to hear your stories. Cheers.

Credit for this article goes to joevaded from /r/realmadrid.  

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