Where next for Mourinho?
Posted Saturday, February 23 2013 at 02:00
Wanted everywhere. José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix is arguably world football’s most in-demand coach
Jose Mourinho picks his suitors and time well and this is why he pops up at clubs ripe enough to suggest a likelihood of quick success and starved enough to greet him as a saviour. And so it was when he sashayed into Madrid three seasons ago to consummate a marriage bulging with convenience – Mourinho looking for a 3rd CL trophy in as many countries, and Real Madrid hurting from the continued inability to add to their haul of nine European trophies.
Yet today we see hints of a failed union headed for the bitterest of divorces. Yes there has been rapid domestic success – Mourinho has in two seasons won all domestic trophies, but the saviour is increasingly seen as a rogue unable to put out the fires ignited by player egos, club politics, and fuelled by not only the bloody-minded domination of Barcelona, but also the unending pursuit of the ‘decima’
Of course Mourinho could yet land the La Decima. Only fools and the naive would underestimate Mourinho’s ability to milk a performance from his teams or even suggest that the tie with Manchester United is done. Remember too that Real Madrid was until his arrival only good enough to make the second round. Therefore the last two semi-final appearances demonstrate progress.
But the lofty and habitually unrealistic ambitions of Real Madrid mean that progress isn’t a currency with which job tenure is secured. For all we know, and ones thoughts here wander to Vicente Del Bosque, even La Decima is no guarantee for the renewal of a love-affair at Real Madrid. So by most indications the ego-fuelled politics of Real Madrid will have claimed its 12th managerial victim in a decade, come May 2013.
But surely finding another job for a man with Morinho’s track record can’t be a crisis. Surely the suitors will be many. Or will they? A casual glance at his options doesn’t reveal a lengthy list.
If we were to eliminate Spain a place that appears to be choking his ego, Italy and Portugal arenas of past conquests, that would leave France an unconquered land to which I shall return later, Germany, Holland, the relative ‘backwaters’ of the Nordic countries and England.
If we are to explore a place he calls his second home and considering his choice trends then the only English club that offers a possible destination and all the romance of a re-union is ‘manager-less’ Chelsea.
But the club’s current command structure would appear not to favour the prodigal sons return anytime soon. Germany (am not sure he is keen on reviving a Pep Guardiola rivalry) and Holland don’t appear to offer the quick fixes that Mourinho always seeks out, while the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, aren’t exactly bathed in the limelight he likes to bask in. This leaves us with France and therefore PSG.
So if I was Carlo Ancelotti I would be worriedly looking over my shoulder. Mourinho is coming to town not so much because France remains virgin territory or that his nose catches the financial whiff that PSG’s Qatari owners give off. Mourinho is going to Paris because contrary to popular belief, the numbers of clubs ready to bow to his charm have started to dwindle.