What next for Mourinho?

Jose Mourinho is undoubtedly one of the best known management names in world football, and has been since doing the impossible and leading Porto of the Portuguese league to Champions League glory in 2004.  The moment he declared himself the ‘Special One’ after signing for Chelsea at the end of that season further added to his growing reputation and charismatic style, and since then he’s gradually backed that up with several trophy wins during his time at Chelsea followed by an immediate Serie A triumph as well as the Italian Supercup in the 2008/09 season after signing for Inter Milan.  However this wasn’t what he was employed to do as the Champions League was what the board of directors wanted him to achieve for the club, but the team was knocked out in the first round of the knockout stage meaning the two other trophies he won meant very little to the board in particular.

This season seems to be very different.  Inter are in the Copa Italia final as I write this and have just defeated Barcelona 3-1 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at home.  They’re also in a very good position to win the league again despite a lack of form in recent weeks, but the progress made in the Champions League is what matters to almost everyone at the club.  Inter are again in a strong position to win that if they can contain Barcelona during the return leg at the Camp Nou, and then defeat either Lyon or Bayern Munich in the final which they are very much capable of doing.  Things are looking good for Mourinho, but all is not well for the Portuguese manager.

Jose Mourinho has made it clear he dislikes life in Italy

For starters he’s gone on record this season as saying he “loves Inter but dislikes Italian football,” as well as making no secret of the fact he wants to leave the club sooner rather than later.  It’s not surprising he’s said this as he’s a manager who appreciates the beautiful side of the game, in Italy the standard way of playing is to more of less stick everybody in your own half and defend like crazy.  It’s also played at a very slow pace which favours players in the twilight of their careers, which if you hadn’t already guessed makes for very dull viewing.  The big question now is what’s next for Mourinho?  Personally I think he’ll leave Inter Milan at the end of this season regardless of what he wins or loses.  If he wins the Champions League he’ll depart on a high, but that probably won’t matter to any clubs looking to employ him.  What could be interesting is where he might end up.

Manchester United – Firstly, before the current season even began Mourinho expressed a desire to manage at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson eventually retires.  Ferguson himself has said he’s likely going to leave at the end of the 2010/2011 season when he’ll be around 70, but Mourinho will probably be looking to move from one club to another as soon as possible.  He’s not the type of man to be away from football for any longer than necessary and at the same time I don’t think he’ll stay at Inter for another season.  If he wins the Copa Italia and the Champions League he’ll have achieved basically everything there is to achieve in Italian football.

Chelsea – Rumours have been circulating almost since the day he left that Mourinho would one day return to Chelsea.  Carlo Anceletti looks on course to win the Premiership title but hasn’t enjoyed the level of success Mourinho had before him in other competitions, nor do I think the players like and respect him as much.  Ancelotti has also said he’d like to manage Roma one day as well as the Italian national team after the 2010 World Cup, but for now he seems happy enough and most importantly Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is pleased with his progress.

Manchester City – Essentially having an unlimited transfer find will no doubt get Mourinho’s interest if Roberto Mancini loses his job at the end of the season, despite proving to be a great manager whatever the situation he’s always been a bit of a sucker for club owners with huge spending power.  However Mancini has done well this season and may well finish fourth in the Premier League, the target set by the owners.   However if disaster strikes they could even finish 8th as unlikely as it is with current 8th place holders Everton eight points behind with one more game played, but anything is possible.  If that does happen Manchester City will definitely be looking for a manager of Jose Mourinho’s quality.

Real Madrid – in my opinion this is Jose Mourinho’s most likely destination for next season.  It doesn’t really matter who’s in charge of the club,these days as soon as the existing manager gets eliminated from the Champions League you know his days are numbered even if he wins everything else possible.  Real Madrid is a team with a lot of spending power, world class players and in a league which would appeal to Mourinho’s preferred style of play.  Having said that the pressure to succeed might be too much for him (and most other managers for that matter) to want to bother with, but despite that I think he’ll end up there.

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Posted on April 21, 2010, in Sport and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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