“Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.” – Jose Mourinho, 2004
Jose Mario dos Santos Mourinho Felix, famously known as ‘Jose Mourinho’ is one of the most successful managers worldwide. The 51 years old Portuguese has won league title and domestic cup in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. He is unarguably the most famous football manager these days. He successfully ended Barca’s dominance in Spain by managing Real Madrid, steered Chelsea to win the English Premier League title after a long span of 50 years, won a historic treble with Inter Milan and Champions League with Porto.
The Special one managed Chelsea between the years 2004-2007 and returned to the Bridge in the year 2013, claiming he has an unbreakable emotional connection with Chelsea and some undone business and then he quoted himself as “The Happy One”.
Management Style, Philosophies and Tactics:
Jose has a very pragmatic approach towards the game, and he uses simple tactics that involve direct passing, pressing, defense and counter-attack. The only thing he expects from his players is hard work and bit by bit contribution. Generally, Mourinho’s teams are not one man; the whole squad puts equal efforts. For example, his 2004-2006 Chelsea won the EPL after the invincible season of Arsenal with a comprehensive margin of 12 points. Chelsea won the league with a record 95 points conceding only 15 goals in 38 premier league games. The very next year, Blues retained their title with a margin of 8 points.
Jose preferred 4-3-3 formation, unlike other Premier league teams which preferred classic 4-4-2, and Mourinho’s 4-3-3 worked very well. This team had triangle in midfield which consisted of Makelele, Lampard and Essien/Tiago, where Makelele was the shield for defense and ammo for the midfield and on flanks, while Lampard was the provider for the forwards, whereas Essien was the passing hub. The flanks were occupied by Joe cole, Duff or Robben, who had an excellent chemistry with the fullbacks and interchanged their positions frequently in order to charge the opposition.
This team is considered as one of the best teams of the Premier League. This team never won the game with a huge margin, but oppositions were aware of how deadly Chelsea was. Mourinho has one element which other managers don’t have and that is the ability to think outside the box and beyond his barriers. He will always have a plan B and if plan B isn’t enough, he will come up with a plan C and D and so on.
Below are the extraordinary qualities which outstand Jose Mourinho from other managers and which have benefited him in his successful spells in different countries with different clubs and different leagues:
Every manager expects his players to have a great work ethics, but Jose knows it is not about working hard it is about working effectively and well. He works 16 hours a day and expects his players to stretch an extra mile for him. Mourinho’s teams always prepare rigorously for every game and consider every game as the big one.
Motivating Team Leader
Mourinho treats his players like his family and makes everyone of them realize their contribution and importance to the team. He quotes his motivation mantra as “motivation must be the engine, so the players must then go with you.” According to him, “players don’t win you trophies, teams do”, while he is supportive for his players and also treats everyone equally.
“I believe that the most difficult thing is to lead men with different cultures, brains and qualities” this shows his great ability to understand people and their individual differences.
Mourinho knows what’s inside his players and knows how to gain respect from his players. His approach towards every player is different including the big names in his teams. Managers face different challenges with different players. Some need to be yelled, some need to be challenged and some need encouragement. For example, he once sent his exhausted player Wesley Sneijder on a vacation. Sneijder said:
“I went to Ibiza for three days. When I got back, I was prepared to kill and die for him.”
Love him or hate him but one cannot disagree with the fact that he is the best manager in the world and also a father figure who is deeply respected by his players, staff and fans.
After Jose was awarded ‘Doctorate Honoris Causa degree’ on March 23, 2009, he said, “We want to follow a dream, yes it’s true, but it’s one thing to follow a dream and another to follow an obsession…. A dream is more pure than obsession. A dream is about PRIDE!!” – Explains it all.
Edited By: Harshal Ahire