Since Jose Mourinho arrived in the Premier League with Chelsea some years ago, he has always divided opinion. Some people find him arrogant – some think it’s just confidence. His press conference’s have become something of an unmissable box office event, but is Mourinho still the self-proclaimed Special One, or is he now just special once?
The former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager has won trophies at every club where he has been in charge for at least a full season, including two Champions League titles, and now he is hoping to do the same at Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Spurs have not picked up any silverware since a 2008 League Cup success under Juande Ramos. Their last FA Cup triumph was in 1991, a last European trophy came in 1984, whilst their wait to win a league title goes all the way back to 1961.
Despite reaching the Champions League final last season, the squad was becoming complacent and needed a shake-up, which is what Mourinho’s arrival will certainly provide. But are Tottenham getting what they are paying for?
Mourinho started his managerial career at Benfica but was quickly axed after a political power struggle at the club. He then joined minnows Uniao de Leiria, where he did well enough to earn him a move to Porto. Success soon followed as Porto dominated Portuguese football, winning the UEFA Super Cup and the Champions League.
Chelsea lured Mourinho to west London where records were smashed as the Blues cruised to the Premier League title and were equally impressive when defending their crown the following season, and even when they didn’t win the league, Mourinho collected the FA Cup and League Cup in 2007, only to be sacked in the September.
He then won it all at Inter Milan, including a historic treble, knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League semi-finals at the Nou Camp along the way. That was enough for Real Madrid to throw huge amounts of money his way to appoint him as Head Coach at the Bernabeu.
Despite winning trophies and toppling Pep Guardiola’s brilliant Barcelona team, he fell out with the media, most of the Los Blancos supporters and key members of his squad. But that has been Mourinho for the best part of a decade, he wins trophies but leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. He even lost the dressing-room on his return to Stamford Bridge and then again at Manchester United.
As most experts and pundits lauded Ajax during their run to last season’s Champions League semi-final, complimenting them on their attacking style before they lost to Spurs, Mourinho commented that, “Ajax are going to watch the final on television… with their philosophy.”
However, the Premier League’s best two managers – Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp – do things very differently to Mourinho. Guardiola is married to the process and philosophy of attacking football, whilst Klopp’s connection with his players is quite incredible. They stick to their principles and the football is fun to watch.
Mourinho wants to win at all costs, no matter what the style of football they employ. But winning at all costs is fine until you stop winning and when you do stop, what have you got? Chairman of Tottenham, Daniel Levy, will hope he doesn’t get to find out.