Jose Mourinho was exceptional, but since his second Chelsea tenure was cut short, he’s been slipping into mediocrity.
Anyone who enjoys watching the mighty fall has been enthralled by Jose Mourinho’s career demise.
Some will argue that he deserved it.
The slide towards mediocrity began the day his second spell at Stamford Bridge ended in 2015, when good humour turned into sarcasm.
He is now the coach of Roma, and he appears to be on the same arduous path he took with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Many theories have been proposed as to why his magic — and charm — ran out.
I wouldn’t dare to offer mine, except to say that any manager who publicly humiliates one or more of his players will pay the price in points.
And then there’s the matter of reputation.
Player attitudes have shifted significantly in the short time since he took over at Benfica.
They’ve grown richer and more aware of their own power over the past 21 years.
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There was never a time when a player was encouraged to respond to the boss — especially not in the media.
The boss kept his mouth shut when it came to harsh criticism of his men as a trade-off.
Mourinho considered himself to be “the Special One,” a ridiculous piece of self-promotion that was bound to attract some special satire as his career waned.
As his verbal slaps gave way to thin-lipped thrusts, he’d always been abrasive with a sharper edge.
He effectively victimized a number of players, shattering the confidence of one international prospect.
This was the dark side of the handsome Portuguese young man who rose through the ranks of management after a strange career as a translator for Barcelona’s Bobby Robson.
Given the former England manager’s Geordie accent and habit of mispronouncing players’ names, that would have been a difficult task.
Mourinho, on the other hand, was a genius at the time.
He not only paid attention, but he also learned and passed on information with ease.
It’s no surprise that his teammates admired him.
He won the Champions League twice (with Porto and Inter), the Primeira Liga twice, the Premier League twice, Serie A twice, the FA Cup, the Coppa Italia, the Copa del Rey, and the EFL Cup twice in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Since the EFL Cup and Europa League with United in 2016-17, he hasn’t won anything in the last five years.
This period is marked by some dreadful quarrels and, I suspect, growing self-doubt.
Those in the know say he’s old school in terms of tactics, relying too heavily on defense, and being too quick…
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