Friday, May 26, 2017

Jose Mourinho: How savvy can a coach be?

Jose Mourinho is wrongly labelled a 'bus parker'. That label cannot be more wrong. The man is a winner. He is a tactician. He plans well and executes his plans to the dot. Show me a better manager.

Upon arrival, many wondered if he had a point to prove. In what I thought was a direct jab at Arsene Wenger, he pointed out that he had won few championships not so long ago, while other managers last tasted glory 20 years ago.

His appetite to excel looked like spiraling off the rails with a perpetual 6th position on the English League table and sadly, the man conceded defeated. At that moment, Wenger, whose Arsenal seemed in control of a 3rd or 4th position, may have felt a little relieved.

In conceding the league, Mourinho did not lose focus of glory. He wanted to compete at the world's greatest football club competition. He announced that he wanted to play in the UEFA Champions League by winning the Europa League Cup. It sounded far-fetched and almost suicidal.

This Manchester United team was some job and a half. The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson would always cripple Manchester United in whatever size, shape or form. David Moyes paid for the sins of a system collapse, and was deemed a failure by a few people expecting miracles. He exited Old Trafford scared and fell into a deeper end at Sunderland, sinking that ship into the Championship.

Then came Louis van Gaal. The Dutch master failed to turn the matters around and jumped ship. The squads that the two managers left behind lacked character and class.

Fast forward, enter the Special One, the Only One. JM is known to favour experience. He was expected to bring in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Yaya Toure, among other veterans who seemed out of favour at their clubs. Zlatan came from Paris Saint German while Toure stayed put. To make a statement of intent sound, he paid a reord fee for Paul Pogba.

Was it a wise idea and profitable investment? Judge ye, but when Mourinho speaks, take heed. The world has not seen a better coach - not yet.