In this edition of NUFC Hotspot Opinions we give our views on the prospect of Jose Mourinho one day sitting in the NUFC managerial hotseat. Of course, any prospect of this occurring depends entirely on the outcome of the takeover, but even with financial backing would the Portuguese manager be a good fit at St James’ Park?
In the modern era of football, lots of clubs have lots of money. The recent emergence of both PSG and Manchester City show how quickly a club can become a powerhouse in world football. If Newcastle were to follow this path, we would have one particular, daunting advantage. A club with history.
Sir Bobby Robson holds a special spot in the history of Newcastle United, managing the club from 1999-2004, and would add an incentive for Mourinho to continue this legacy.
Jose Mourinho shared a special relationship with Sir Bobby, predominately at the beginning of his managerial career. The pair worked closely throughout their spells in Portugal, with Mourinho first working as a translator for Robson at Sporting Lisbon.
The pair then completed a move to Porto, where Mourinho gained a larger influence on the tactics of the team. The pair complimented each others style, with Robson favouring an attacking style while possessing an overriding ability to man-manage every type of personality found in a footballer.
Jose on the other hand was more involved with the defensive structure, while focusing on research and analysis.
The pair then worked together at Barcelona, as they created memorable moments picking up a multitude of trophies.
Sir Bobby also attempted to lure Mourinho to Newcastle United just weeks after Jose assumed the role as first team manager at Benfica. It is claimed that Robson offered to hand over the reins of the club to Mourinho after 2 years, however Mourinho rejected the offer, claiming Robson would never step down at a club he loved.
Amassing over 30 trophies throughout his managerial career there is no surprise that Jose Mourinho is regarded as a serial winner among the footballing world.
The collection of trophies began during his spell with Porto. When first appointed in January 2002, he took over a struggling team in fifth place before putting together an impressive run of 11 wins in his first 15 games to secure a third place finish. He promised that Porto would be champions the following year, an early bold claim.
He then delivered on this promise the following season, lifting the Primieria Liga while suffering just 2 league defeats across the entire campaign.
The season of 2003/04 was the true announcement of Jose Mourinho to the footballing world. Making easy work of the Portuguese league as Porto wrapped up the league title with 5 weeks of the season remaining, the focus was swiftly diverted to the UEFA Champions League.
Drawn in a group containing Real Madrid, Marseille, and Partizan, the Portuguese side progressed in second place. The subsequent draw proposed a tie with Manchester United in the First Knockout Round.
With a home tie up first for Mourinho, his side were 1-0 down after 14 minutes, but a double from Benni McCarthy swung the tie in the home teams favour after the first 90 minutes. The following leg at Old Trafford also saw the Portuguese side slip behind, with the away goal rule placing Porto on the brink of elimination.
This was until the 89th minute when Costinha equalised, causing Jose to elaborately celebrate the goal, sprinting down the touchline as he punched his fists in the air.
The club then overcome Lyon 4-2 in the Quarter Final, Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 in the Semi Final, and were crowned champions after a 3-0 win in the final against Monaco.
After this heroic, yet unexpected Champions League triumph, Chelsea came calling for his services, as the ‘Special One’ made the move to London in June 2004.
With the backing of Roman Abramovich, Mourinho bought in Michael Essien and Didier Drogba, alongside the duo of Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira from Porto.
In a Premier League era containing Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, Mourinho won back to back titles. Not only did he lift these trophies to claim 4 successive league titles across his spells in Portugal and England, but also obliterated English footballing records.
Within his first season, his Chelsea team acquired the highest points tally (95), while conceding the lowest amount of league goals, which still stands today (15).
Three years later, during the 2007/08 season it was agreed that Mourinho would depart Chelsea. This decision followed a series of disagreements between the manager and owner. He left the club with 6 trophies in 3 years, while maintaining an unbeaten record at home throughout his entire tenure.
Mourinho then made the transition to Italy to reinvigorate an ageing Inter Milan squad. Upon arrival, he brought in Diego Milito, Wesley Sneijder, and swapped Zlatan Ibrahimovic plus £35 million for the services of Samuel Eto’o.
The season of course included an excessive level of controversy, with shock defeats, media arguments, and publicly aired frustrations at refereeing decisions, but the end result was the same for Mourinho. Trophies.
Eliminating his former club Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich also fell victim as Mourinho went on to lift the Champions League. Inter Milan simultaneously writing their name in history books for winning the first ever treble in Italian football.
Just a day after achieving this milestone Mourinho announced he was sure that it was his last game for the club, claiming “If you do not coach Real Madrid, there will always be a gap in your career”.
The subsequent switch to Spain provided yet further opportunities to add to the growing trophy collection, picking up at least 1 piece of silverware in each of his 3 years in the Spanish capital.
During his debut season Mourinho won the Copa del Rey, as they claimed a 1-0 victory over Barcelona in the final. This ended the teams longstanding 3 year drought of silverware.
The following season in 2011/12, Mourinho brought the league title to Madrid, bridging a 9 point gap to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in second place. The club broke all types of records in the process as they racked up 100 points, won 32 games, and scored 121 goals.
Paradise in the capital soon started to develop cracks, with Mourinho’s relationship with important players appearing to perish. Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, and countryman Cristiano Ronaldo all had fallouts with the manager. As these disagreements were aired publicly, the fanbase gradually begun to turn on the manager.
During the 2012/13 season with frictions running high, Jose hinted it would be his final year with the club, stating he was “Loved by many clubs, especially one.”
These comments sparked the highly anticipated return to Chelsea, before embarking on a journey around elite clubs of English football, from 2013 to present.
Adding another League Cup and Premier League to the inventory at Chelsea, he then attempted to take Manchester United back to the top, following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, and failed attempts by his successors.
While the spell at Manchester United was deemed his biggest failure due to the weakened title charge, he still managed the club to an EFL Cup and Europa League.
The mentality Jose Mourinho has adopted throughout his career is to win at any cost. It has been commonly acknowledged that there are drawbacks in his preferred style in terms of entertainment. As a Newcastle fan, I would be more than happy to sacrifice any sense of fashionable play if it saw us lifting a trophy!
Style of Play
Reliant on establishing a strong defence, and compacting his players into a defensive shape, negative comparisons have been drawn to the more entertaining, and arguably more fashionable high-press styles implemented by Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
In contrast to these criticisms, I believe this style would complement our current squad well, while transfer acquisitions would improve our ability to execute his game plans with more precision.
My reasoning for this opinion stems from the tactics successfully deployed by Rafa Benitez. The low block, partnered with a focus on counter attacking proved to be successful for us, while the recruitment of Miguel Almiron only bolstered the effectiveness of this setup.
Mourinho is a master of this setup which would allow the existing players to make a smooth transition to his style, unlike the players at both Manchester United and Tottenham who were more unfamiliar with this system.
Voice of the Fans
Hunger, Hope, Ambition
The appointment of Jose Mourinho into the Newcastle United hotseat would signify an extraordinary coup. A takeover would rejuvenate the entire city, ending a 13 year spell of lowered expectations and drained hope, while the potential appointment of Jose Mourinho would arguably eclipse the previous appointment of Rafa Benitez in 2016.
The connection with Sir Bobby, the relentless hunger to win, and purely the calibre of manager he is would awake the sleeping giant of Newcastle United.
Over to the Premier League now to approve this takeover, and then who knows what our future may hold…
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