Jose Mourinho: A story about love, success and identity

Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney

At this point in his career, Jose Mourinho is considered to be one of the most successful managers of all time. Countless league trophies, cups, and European success has got him to where he is today. Unfortunately, with all of his success, there has come a large variety of hate towards the current Manchester United manager. Through all of his success, the Portuguese-man has been blamed for mistreating players, being arrogant,  to playing “unattractive” football. How far can it go? One season he may win you the league, and the next he might happen to be leading a team of players who are not as determined to win. Fortunately, through all of this time managing different teams in different leagues, Jose Mourinho is still able to guarantee one thing, success.

Being a man that wants to do nothing but win, Jose Mourinho demands everything that his players are able to offer him. The extent to which Mourinho demands from his players, and gets in return, has always been a common point of discussion, anywhere he has managed. The latest public figure to express their opinion on the topic is former United defender Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport, stated;

“It comes down to how he handles situations with individual players because he’s all about people who love Mourinho and if you don’t show him what he wants that is you gone. All he wants from his players is that they love him.

 “If you work with someone you may not like him but if he’s doing a good job for you then you stick with him. With Mourinho it doesn’t work that way and therein lies the problem. That’s why Schweinsteiger has been pushed away. With Mata there seems to be a reprieve but I’m sure Mata hasn’t been fooled by that after starting against Bournemouth.

 “For Mourinho to be at the sharp end of Manchester United that’s a concern for me because he is saying that he has changed but he said that at the start of his second spell at Chelsea. We saw what happened twelve months later.”

Whilst I seem to agree with some of what Parker has stated, I beg to differ to some of his points. Yes, Jose Mourinho is very well-known to be arrogant, and that he, as the “special one”, deserves to be loved for what he can bring to the club. I believe the fine line between demanding respect and demanding love from your players. Mourinho seems to be a man who gets what he wants, and if he feels that a player cannot cope with his demands or doesn’t respect him, then he won’t shy away from the possibility that the player no longer has a role to play in the side. In addition, Bastian Schweinsteiger has been known to be one of the most respectful players to play the game, thus I am not convinced about his beliefs that Mourinho doesn’t like Schweinsteiger, I, in turn, believe that the physical demand is what stops Schweinsteiger from being the main player for Mourinho.

I do agree, and find it partially surprising, that whilst Jose Mourinho has managed in a number of different clubs, he has seemed to make the same mistake in his second/third season in charge. He seems to have lost control of his players, and what seemed to lead him to success in his first season in charge, backfires. But I do like to believe, and hope, that Manchester United, being a club with such a rich history and high expectations, can motivate Jose Mourinho to work even harder and be able to continue his success for a longer period of time. Mourinho knows the expectations of United fans, and also understands that the club like to do things a certain way, such as promote the youth, which is seen more at United than at his previous two clubs; Chelsea and Real Madrid. Paul Parker then went on to discuss how United have opted for instant silverware under Mourinho over long-term success with Blanc.

“I would have looked for someone ambitious and keen to prove themselves outside of their league so that would have been Laurent Blanc. But United have looked at Mourinho’s record of winning the league in his first season and gone with that. They’ve said he has two or three seasons but that’s rubbish. The same goes for Mourinho saying he wants Champions league football this season.

“With his ego and passion he wants to win at all costs. Manchester United are absolutely desperate to win the league and that’s why they’ve gone with him. There is no waiting and building. Manchester United are absolutely desperate to win the league and that’s why they’ve gone with him. There is no waiting and building.”

As I mentioned before, I believe that Manchester United, being a club with such a rich history, might motivate Mourinho to change his ways and continue his success for more than one year. Manchester United have shown in the last two years that they are able to play at a world class level, they just needed a couple of factors changed to ensure that they can make that level consistent. I believe that Jose Mourinho has already improved the team with his four summer signings, and hope that all the players in the side are motivated to help him bring more success to the club for the next couple of years. Lastly, Paul Parker went on to comment on how he believes that United’s lost identity will not be rediscovered under Mourinho.

“Every team has an identity and a certain style of playing. Even Liverpool under Klopp still have some of that football they had in the 1980s. United lost that under Van Gaal and I don’t think they can retain it under Mourinho. It’s sluggish and slow with no pace in the team that shows when they’re attacking. The ball isn’t shifted around quick enough. Mata isn’t being used as a focal point and instead it comes to Rooney who controls, looks and passes.”

I believe that this has to be on of his most controversial comments. First off, Manchester United changed the way that football was played the second Sir Alex Ferguson retired. David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal had different styles of play, and rightfully so, they attempted what they had thought would work and aimed to continue Manchester United’s success after Ferguson. Looking back now, Manchester United’s style of play was never going to stay the same, and a risk was taken yet again by the new hiring of Jose Mourinho. Whilst I believe that Parker must have his reasons, especially since he is a former player, I believe that some of the “old style” mindset are playing a factor. It might not be pleasant to watch Jose Mourinho’s style of play, but it is undoubted that he will bring success back to the club, and that, above all else, is what matters and has always mattered for Manchester United.

Finally, I won’t even comment on how he believes that Liverpool, who “still have some of that football they had in the 1980s”, is seen in a positive manner because look at how that has turned up for them the last couple of seasons.

Read the full 888sport interview with Paul Parker, including his thoughts on why this is a defining season for ‘overweight’ Rooney and whether Pogba will live up to his price-tag

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