Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Thirteen Reasons Why Jose Mourinho Won't Make It Past Christmas

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Thirteen Reasons Why Jose Mourinho Won't Make It Past Christmas

Article excerpt

The government has appointed a totally independent committee to advise on one of the greatest problems and mysteries of the age--Mourinho. Its members are Lord Snooty, Judge Dredd, Ken Dodd, Dame Camila Batmanghelidjh and Lobby Lud, OBE. Unlike other government advisory bodies, it has been instructed to report its findings as quickly as possible. Goodness, here it comes. Stand back ...

1. What has gone wrong? No one knows. Why players and teams and managers are suddenly rubbish, no one ever knows. Least of all themselves. Otherwise, they would do something about it. Next.

2. Failed footballer syndrome often acts as an extra spur. When players' careers are brought to a sudden end, they often want to make up for it as a manager. Mourinho never really had a football career, hence he has always overcompensated, browbeating others. This has to be borne in mind when judging his self-obsessive behaviour.

3. The players are past it. A popular explanation--blaming Terry, Ivanovic and Fabregas for being finished. Fabregas is a mere babe of 28. If you are good enough, you are young enough.

4. Overachieving. They did last season, especially Eden Hazard. The lack of half-decent competition from other star players, such as Rooney, helped Hazard win the awards.

5. Second-season blues. Like a second novel, the pressure is double that of the first. Chelsea got complacent, podgy, arrogant, thinking they had it sussed. Now they wonder how they ever did it.

6. Failure to buy new players. Mourinho got Falcao--what a mistake--and got turned down by John Stones. We wonder why: is it his behaviour, the things he says and does? If so, it can only get worse. His reputation, once so wonderful, will now work against him. Why, now, would anyone want to board a sinking ship? Roman must have noticed.

7. His eye is off the ball. Why has Mourinho spent time doing adverts for watches? Isn't 13.5m [pounds sterling] a year to manage a football team enough? …

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