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Mourinho still pure theatre

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Phil McNulty | 06:10 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Jose Mourinho wore an unfamiliar mask of modesty as he showered Chelsea in respect on his return to Stamford Bridge. To no-one's surprise it did not last.

Stroll into Stamford Bridge's Centenary Hall, take a left turn towards the Chelsea museum, and a message is painted loud and clear in blue and white on the wall: "I am not from the bottle. I am a special one."

Sitting just a few yards away was the man who uttered those famous words on his appointment as Chelsea manager in June 2004. And he was only too happy to deliver a reminder to his former employers on his comeback with Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Mourinho was pure theatre, even when trying his best to avoid the below the belt verbal jabs he has made his stock in trade out of deference to Chelsea. After 30 minutes of almost stone-faced restraint he could resist no longer.

On the differing paths taken by Mourinho and Chelsea since they parted ways in September 2007, he said: "I keep winning important things. They keep winning something."

Go on. Why don't you just say it Jose? Only the FA Cup since you left while you have added the Serie A title since moving to Inter Milan. He had proved he can do modesty - he just can't do it for very long.

It was a brief slip into the old agitating Mourinho. He retains such affection for Chelsea, and just about everyone associated with them, that he insisted there will be no outward celebrations should Inter score, or successfully defend their 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Mourinho is box office, and there is no subtlety in his showmanship. He sent in the unlikely figure of Marco Materazzi as his warm-up act, then had the gall to interrupt "The Matrix" by tapping his watch and telling him to move it along.

Jose Mourinho Jose Mourinho in relaxed mood ahead of Tuesday's game - Pic: AFP

As he finally took centre stage he was illuminated by flashbulbs. Every move, whether it was taking a drink, waving a hand or even demolishing a plate of his favourite custard creams that had been provided for him, was accompanied by the clicking of cameras attempting to capture that special shot of "The Special One".

Mourinho was in his element, ever the divisive figure enjoyed by the British media but taken with a very large pinch of salt by their Italian counterparts.

Wearing a black, glistening body warmer that made him look like an ageing biker, Mourinho doused anyone and anything associated with Chelsea in spoonfuls of sugar while at the same time insisting the only thing that would make his Tuesday a special one would be an Inter win.

It was a delicate balancing act. And just to make sure the sceptics among his Italian audience knew how serious his designs on an Inter win were, he revealed he had watched the dvd of the first leg seven times "going back and forward, stopping, watching again. Seven times."

It was vintage Mourinho, even when trying to keep a lid on the emotions that will be just below the surface when he deservedly receives a hero's welcome at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

He said: "I feel at home here. I walked in through the door. I go to the second floor where there are people that I know. I go to the third floor where there are people that I know. People come to me.

"The players didn't come because they are working or at the hotel, but I feel at home. Before the game I know everbody and I love them. After the game I know everybody and I love them. For 90 minutes I know nobody."

For those us who still miss Mourinho's presence in the Premier League, he once more provided compulsive viewing and listening. He enjoys the cut and thrust of the relationship forged with the English media during his time at Chelsea. He plays the game and, as usual, ends up victorious.

Mourinho even greeted one familiar questioner with "it's good to see you." You got the impression he will rarely extend the same courtesy to the pack following him from Milan as he accused them of trying to "create a scandal" with their questions.

The impression lingers that plenty in Italy regard Mourinho as a bluffer. They know special coaches when they see them and they have had plenty. In many eyes, Mourinho does not measure up.

They have had Marcello Lippi, Giovanni Trapattoni, Fabio Capello and others who they regard as rather more special than Mourinho - and who come without the circus that follows the Portuguese.

Mourinho's refusal to discuss the exclusion of Mario Balotelli from Inter's squad amid reports of another tiff between the pair was greeted with undisguised exasperation, and even the odd tut-tut, from some parts of the Italian media.

And Mourinho may just have been offering a commentary on his fractious relationship with authority in Italy when he said: "Football is beautiful - in almost every country."

For Chelsea and England there was plenty of love, especially as Mourinho confirmed he will return to the Premier League as he marked out a map for the rest of his career. It will have had a succession of clubs pricking up their ears.

chelsea_training_blog_getty.jpg Chelsea trail Inter Milan 2-1 from the first leg - Pic: Getty

"I have three things to do in my career," he revealed. "The first thing is to be back in English football, another thing is to win the Spanish championship because no-one has won the Spanish, English and Italian titles. And another one, when I am old, is to coach my national team."

There was even praise for Carlo Ancelotti, who has been long regarded as an arch-adversary of Mourinho in the wake of their uneasy co-existence on either side of Milan's footballing divide.

In his final media briefing before leaving Chelsea, he likened top players to eggs and omelettes. The better the eggs the better the omelettes, was Mourinho's theory applied to football.

Asked if Chelsea had let their best chef leave, he was quick to praise Ancelotti, saying: "They have a good chef. They have a chef with experience and a chef who knows the ingredients football needs."

Mourinho rounded things off by discussing one of his favourite subjects. Himself. And by then the facade of modesty was long gone.

Will he still be "The Special One" after Tuesday's game? He replied without hesitation: "Of course. After the game I will be 'The Special One' win or lose."

Mourinho will always be "The Special One" at Stamford Bridge. It must be true. It says so on the wall by the museum he decorated so lavishly with silverware.

You can follow me throughout this season at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I think Samuel Etoo summed up Mourinho best when he told him "Mr Mourinho you are a great coach but you are a s*!t".

    Mourinho is a great coach and manager but his ego means he will struggle to stay at a club for a long time without ultimately being a divisive influence. For all his success at Chelsea, the manner of his departure summed up what he is. A bit of a spoilt brat who demands that he and not the players receive all the accolades and remain centre of attention. As soon as this stops he becomes disruptive and ultimately a negative influence on the team. I would guess he will be a journeyman style manager bouncing from team to team and while his talents as a manager will ensure at least brief success, his personality will dictate that he will seldom leave a club on a positive note.

  • Comment number 2.

    You've been busy Phill 3blogs in a day!! Was top as well althoughnot sure I agree about the beckham issue but hey what do Canadians know about soccer!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Mr Mourinho will always remain special to Chelsea regardless of his acrimonious falling out with the powers-that be at the helm of the Blues and his subsequent departure. And he has an opportunity to remind all and sundry just how special he is when he knocks out his former employers!

    As a Manchester Utd fan, I wish him all the success tonight! Batter Chelsea!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    It seems the media, and in particular, YOU, are obsessed with Mourinho. I can't believe this whole blog was basically your admiration for him. I like the guy, but please, no more blogs about MOURINHO!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Forget Mourinho remaining special for Chelsea, i think it is fair to say that the whole Premier League would be richer for his presence.

  • Comment number 7.

    INTER-MILAN GOES THROUGH TONIGHT.

  • Comment number 8.

    He is a good coach, but needs a second Champions League win to be considered great. What he did at Chelsea was good, what he did at Inter was nothing special as the same team had won the Serie A the year before. Going to Spain and leading Real Madrid or Barca to La Liga would not be considered anything speacial either as any coach who goes to them knows his chances of winning are basically 50-50 except for the once in a blue moon win of someone else.

    He knows, only another Champions League and another PL title would get him to the promised land of coaching immortality. Otherwise he was just another good coach who took an uber rich team close but not quite there.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mourinho disgusts me.
    The end.

  • Comment number 10.

    A good commentary Phil. Only wish Mariga does play so that it can be seen what talent comes from Kenya. Chelski also remain as the main challengers to United in Europe and cant wait to see their exit and then we rub salt into their wounds in 2 weeks or so.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Hey Phil

    you've said more than once that you think Mourinho will end up at Old Trafford. As a MU fan, part of me likes the idea (he's a proven winner), but I feel he needs too much of the limelight for himself. SAF has long said that no one person is bigger that the club and I think that tradition will stay after he steps down.

    I see a Moyes, O'Neill or McLeish being better suited there.

    Would like to hear your thoughts...

  • Comment number 13.

    ok, Mr. Phil, Mou's ego, mou's theatre, etc. etc.
    of course I agree - I take Mou's expression - for "almost" every your words...
    but I can confirm you - straight from Italy - that he introduced something new and very "special" in Serie A, that's telling "pane al pane e vino al vino" (it means: underline tricked and fixed matches and other disgusting things of local football)... it should be an important part of italian media task, but never happens, as you can see by the "strange" acidity of their reports... anyway here many fans are grateful to Mou for giving voice to their "bad" thoughts, at Chelsea it seems many people love him... so there is to be something beyond "pure theatre"! Yust think that from Italy I have to enjoy football on bbc rather than on italian media...

  • Comment number 14.

    Mourinho may be a Special One. But Chelsea warmed up nicely in midweek foe today's clash. It will be close and I think Chelsea will prove too strong for Inter and nick it in extra-time. Expect a looooooong nervous night today, Chelsea fans!

    Chelsea 3-1 (AET, aggregate 4-3)

  • Comment number 15.

    The English media sucks up to this man way too much.

    I don't understand why, he is an absolute prune. Having said that, as a Fulham fan I really hope he knocks out Chelski tonight

  • Comment number 16.

    Anything football related? Were there any interesting questions or responses about the football match coming up?

  • Comment number 17.

    Mourinho isn't as arrogant or divisive as the media would like him to be. He's a master at playing the media, so it's been easy for him to make the media conjure this image of him. All of his players have always praised him and that's a testiment not only to his managing skills, but also to his character. His behaviour in the media might seem erratic at times, but it always serves a purpose, either taking pressure off from his players or putting pressure on others. That's all there's to it and it's what makes Mourinho the "Special One".

  • Comment number 18.

    to John:
    I don't know Phil, but the question is WHY are they obsessed?

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Surely he must be in the running for the Hull job?

  • Comment number 21.

    Phil, this is indeed a busy week for you. I do agree with you, though. i enjoyed the PL so much better when the special one was around. we have not had much drama this season from managers - and so, some new rivals, new off-pitch drama, and the EPL is back to being as it was three years ago. However, should Mou return, kindly let it be at Old trafford. that is, until a better, more naturing coach comes along.
    Mou is great, but just for a year or so.

  • Comment number 22.

    I hate myself for saying it but football in the EPl just aint as entertaining without this foreigner.

    fergie v wenger are just part time amusements, mourniho could be relied upon to give us wit almost up there with cantona-esque levels of amusement

    im a gooner and have my obvious hates for chelsea but with mourinho around it nearly made them bearable......nearly ;o)

  • Comment number 23.

    "you've said more than once that you think Mourinho will end up at Old Trafford. As a MU fan, part of me likes the idea (he's a proven winner), but I feel he needs too much of the limelight for himself. SAF has long said that no one person is bigger that the club and I think that tradition will stay after he steps down."

    I'm sorry, but what world do you live in? SAF says that no one is bigger than the club... that's because he thinks he IS the club.

  • Comment number 24.

    About the match, Chelsea favourite but Inter side, when playing at their best, very dangeruos...
    I see tonight's winner will win the CHL. Barca is a bit intermittente this year and won't win at Madrid; Arsenal (what a show!)and ManU side are good, but too much young (and too many injuries!) the first, too Rooney-dependent (what a player!) the second.
    The other teams lay far from these.

  • Comment number 25.

    Just how good is Jose?. I mean Inter could have the biggest injury crisis in the world going into tonights game and no-one would know because the man has taken all the attention off his team and the fact they are going into this game in a poor run of form and allowing them to prepare for this crucial game in their season without any pressure, top drawer from a coach, and 1 of the best. He also knows how to play the media to his advantage, as by having the dig at Chelsea's failures since he's left, he is putting a bit of doubt into there heads that they haven't been as good since he left, but is also firing chelsea up that they may play on emotion rather than with their heads, all in all, a genius at work and i just hope he gets his result tonight.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why are Italians the only people who can see JM for what he really is?

    Like a politician - all spin.

  • Comment number 27.

    Obsessive, drooling and adoring are three words that come to mind with this blog. Do you really think people are interested in what he was wearing or how many custard creams he ate? The media circus in England and its love of a personality cult where Mourinho is concerned is childish. It is significant that you report that the Italian media are not so seduced by him, they have a World Cup winner to look up to after all. That's really special.
    Probably for many Chelsea fans, it is a bit like the return of the prodigal son, but for the rest of us it a big FOOTBALL story and there is no mention of that in your blog - no analysis or opinion about the match and who might win.

  • Comment number 28.

    FatBlokeDownThePub - This is a blog, based on personal opinions. For the pre-match build up, check out the news page on the press conference described above.

    And throbbinrobin; I do find it laughable that Ferguson claims that no-one is bigger than the club. Is this the same guy that cans any player who dares questions his authority? He is MU and he doesn't let anyone ever forget it. Without him, they will begin to shrivel and Amen to that.

  • Comment number 29.

    Top quality analysis of Mourinho Phil.

    Any thoughts about the football match? Don't get me wrong I enjoy reading your summary of press conferences, but what do you think are the keys to tonights match? Will the Super Mario situation have any bearing on Inter? Do you think they'll crumble under the pressure again? Can Ancelotti mastermind a comeback?

    Personally I think the result will be the reverse of the first fixture, and that it'll go to extra time. Chelsea are by no means solid at the back and I think Turnbull will let in at least one. Inter can be very tight defensively but away at the Bridge it's a tough prospect to keep a clean sheet. It could get fractious and I wouldn't be surprised to see a red card or a penalty at some point. With Chelsea needing only a 1-0 win I don't imagine either team will be particularly adventurous, which means we're probably in for a goal fest.

    Also a moment of silence please for Phil Brown.

  • Comment number 30.

    Lith United wrote (8):

    He is a good coach, but needs a second Champions League win to be considered great.

    As a fellow United fan I would like to be able to agree with you, but a statement like that I simply can't.

    Going off your logic are you saying you didn't think Alex Ferguson was a great manager until his second Champions League capture in 2008 against Chelsea.

    Many people would also class Arsene Wenger as a great manager and he, - aprt from the 06 CL final against Barcelona has been a good distance from capturing the trophy.


    A response is welcome!

  • Comment number 31.

    Isn't he just fantastic? The guy is an artist, a poet, and has the turn of phrase and eccentricity (at times) of a modern-day Oscar Wilde.

    I'm absolutely fascinated about what it must be like to have him as your boss.

    I can't believe all the negativity with some previous comments. Sure he has an ego, sure he riles opposition fans, former employers, journalists and anyone else who dare to question is gushing outpourings, but in an age when top level football is blotted by the marital indescretions of players, drug taking, diving, the horrific events at the Africa Cup of Nations, referee character assisinations, tv replay debates and the prevalence of "young, rich boys" who don't know how to act responsibly, Mourinho brings a refreshing exuberance to the game.

    You can't fail to be impressed by this man. I have never encountered Mourinho in the flesh but I remember when I had the fortune to meet Roger Federer, there was an inescapable awe felt by everyone in his presecnce. I would imagine Mourinho would have a similar effect, not least on our man McNulty!

    People need to liven up. Yes over 90 minutes it's bound to be a battle, but it is only a game, and Mourinho knows that. Grace pre-match, grace post-match, of that you can be assured.

    I hope you all enjoy the game.

  • Comment number 32.

    Yes people must think he is a s@#t, but that how he is, I can imagine him being a different person when hes training with the lads. It just his style for the media. But it does work where ever he goes. Next stop Manchester U after fergie.

  • Comment number 33.

    Phil, I respect you a lot and thoroughly enjoy your blogs but for heaven's sake whats this fascination about Marinho? I mean you are a BBC with high standards. Everytime Marinho is involved the media hypes it up so much. He is a good manager but can we move on please? Unfortunately there was nothing in this blog regarding football, but majority of times your blogs are good.

  • Comment number 34.

    Oh Phil.. he really is your hero isn't he?

  • Comment number 35.

    In response to Lith United (8):

    I wrote:

    Going off your logic are you saying you didn't think Alex Ferguson was a great manager until his second Champions League capture in 2008 against Chelsea.

    Slight correction of my own I was forgetting Ferguson famously won the European Cup with Aberdeen, but it was a different format then, so I would say this has to be taken into consideration. Nonetheless to win the European Cup, with a club like Aberdeen (no disrespsct there) is a phenomenal achievement.

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 36.

    Zzzzzzzzz....zzzzzzzz

    Boring, tiresome and windy. Hes a football boss for heavens sake. Get over yourself.This saga of his 'return' has ran its course 10 times over. How much more oxygen do you really want to give it?

    His only claim to fame was in persuading Chelsea to keep the same bloke in charge for longer than two years. For them, that astonishing. To listen to you lot anyone culd be fooled for thinking hes Shankly, Busby,Paisley, Stein,Clough, Fergie and Wenger rolled into one. He isnt. Hes a clown. Decent coach, but a clown nontheless. Put him back in his box before we all suffocate with the sheer tedium of the man.

  • Comment number 37.

    #15. jimbullard21 wrote:
    "The English media sucks up to this man way too much. I don't understand why"

    Simple , the guy oozes personality!

    Just compare him to the top 3 just now of Fergusson, Wenger and Ancelloti in an interview ....... Zzzzzzz. Too many people in football take themselves too seriously now. How many years has Fergusson refused to speak to the BBC?

  • Comment number 38.

    Another day, another article where the 606 link is hijacked to take us to a McNulty blog and inexplicably in pre-moderated. And will anybody in authority bother to tell us, the license payers, why that is?

    The quality of the blog is irrelevant when there are such issues with interaction and discussing articles.

  • Comment number 39.

    @Phil... Mourinho will know today that he left a "better" Chelsea side and met a the "best" Chelsea side.... Chelsea has gone through magnificent hands of 4 managers with the touch of brilliance..

  • Comment number 40.

    I do find him entertaining and charismatic (especially compared to just about everyone else in football), but the media fawning over Mourinho like this really does make me cringe.

  • Comment number 41.

    Oh not again, the Jose dedication. Phil, must admit you're star-struck! I don't read your blog as 'Mourinho-love' but you can't stay away, can you?!

    But that's media, he makes a good copy! He's shielded himself perfectly from a knock-out even before the game.

    Now, as a United absolute, the good scenario is: Chelsea should knock Inter out. Takes care of this man 'from the bottle'! Also, Chelsea should be kept 'busy'. We need the Premier League title! They can be taken care of in a later round!

    Can't wait for the Friday draw! And, see your pro-Liverpool post post-Sunday, Mc!

  • Comment number 42.

    "23. At 09:02am on 16 Mar 2010, pidgeGULL wrote:
    "you've said more than once that you think Mourinho will end up at Old Trafford. As a MU fan, part of me likes the idea (he's a proven winner), but I feel he needs too much of the limelight for himself. SAF has long said that no one person is bigger that the club and I think that tradition will stay after he steps down."

    I'm sorry, but what world do you live in? SAF says that no one is bigger than the club... that's because he thinks he IS the club.

    "

    And to be quite frank he is right!

  • Comment number 43.

    #35 Morning Jamie

    I think you will find that was the "Cup Winners Cup" it wasn't the European Cup in a different format, it was a cup specifically for the winners of domestic cup competitions from the previous season.

  • Comment number 44.

    I have a few points to raise about this article and the comments after.

    As a Season Ticket holder at Chelsea and attending tonight’s game I think and hope Chelsea will beat Inter at the expense of a very entertaining manager exiting the Champions League.

    This leads me on to my next point. It also amazes me to find how many English people try to kick up this rivalry between United and Chelsea in the Champions League as a proud patriot I always want United to succeed in Europe, same with Liverpool, Arsenal and Fulham in Europe unless we face one of them. Last week I was delighted to see an English dominance in Europe as United thrashed the old guard of Milan. I feel more English people should be the same; the English dominance of Europe is surely only a good thing. Of course supporting your own team in a game against another English team is only natural.

    Another point I would like to raise which directly links to the blog is that I thought you were too biased towards the great man, there was no real critique of the man more a blog of pure admiration the type of thing you would expect to see on a club website not a site that should be arguing two points of view in a fair argument.

    I also find Mourinho's admission of the next stage's of his career intriguing, where could he go in Spain? He is almost too big a noise for Real to handle especially if you have looked at their previous coaches which are very much under the Capello and Wenger (reportedly a Real target) model who are certainly not under the Mourinho model although Jose would guarantee the title for Real in his one season in charge. Could Barcelona also consider him after some infamous games between Barca and Chelsea? My personal opinion is no. There is still animosity towards the "special one" from the Barca fans and staff. But again there is that guarantee of A La Liga title sitting nicely in the mantelpiece at the end of his one and only season in charge, before his swift return to the U.K isles hopefully in charge of his reportedly beloved Chelsea.

  • Comment number 45.

    #35 I think you mean he won the cup winners cup with Aberdeen. 'The' European Cup was the Champion's Cup (now the Champion's League) the only Scottish side to win that was Celtic in 1967.

    On 'the Special One' I think the man has enjoyed a privalledged career since his fantastic champion's league win with Porto. He had a blank cheque book with Chelsea and walked into a Serie A winning team with Inter. The main thing he brings to the table is the prima donna attitude to match all the egos the manager of a top club needs.

  • Comment number 46.

    #38

    I honestly don't understand why people moan and groan so much about these blogs.

    If you don't agree with the way they're run it's simple, don't bother reading them.

    We're hardly discussing world famine or the conflict in the middle east.

    Take a reality check and chill out.

  • Comment number 47.

    #35 Jamie

    Hamburg won the "European Cup" the year Aberdeen won the "Cup Winners Cup"

  • Comment number 48.

    "35. At 09:38am on 16 Mar 2010, Jamie Riley wrote:
    In response to Lith United (8):

    I wrote:

    Going off your logic are you saying you didn't think Alex Ferguson was a great manager until his second Champions League capture in 2008 against Chelsea.

    Slight correction of my own I was forgetting Ferguson famously won the European Cup with Aberdeen, but it was a different format then, so I would say this has to be taken into consideration. Nonetheless to win the European Cup, with a club like Aberdeen (no disrespsct there) is a phenomenal achievement.

    Thanks.
    "

    It was the Cup Winners Cup actually but Aberdeen did beat Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on the way to the trophy.

  • Comment number 49.

    Mourinho is a "special" manager.

    He was an assistant coach and translator to Bobby Robson at Barca, then a few months at Benfica where he was removed because of a boardroom struggle. Then the manager at Leiria for 2 years a small town club with an average 2000 fans a game.
    Then to Porto , Chelsea , and Inter . It will be 8 national championships, 2 European cups ( possibly 3 ) within 10 years, if that is not special what is ???

    He may blow his own trumpet but he has deserved the right to do just that. In fact he is refreshingly honest as opposed to the "politically correct" comments of other managers.

    But what really makes him special is the confidence and belief he gives his players. Without this great players do not perform , with this average players look like world beaters.


  • Comment number 50.

    As a Liverpool fan i still think this guy is a hero. Even the people who are saying they hate him his arrogance etc surely still enjoy watching his awesome press conferences they never fail to make you laugh - Match of the Day just isnt the same without him... or Warnock for that matter!

  • Comment number 51.

    The Mourinho magic returns - just witness the range of opinion provoked today. There is no doubting his credentials as a world class coach and while I'd love to see him back in The Premier League, as a True Blue, I wouldn't want to see him turn up at Anfield or OT. Well, actually if he turned up at Anfield it would be worth it to see Benitez' face and how The Kop welcome "The Silencer!". On the footballing front, did anyone see the away tie that Inter played at The Camp Nou in the earlier rounds? I tuned in expecting to see a real match but only the home side turned up - I couldn't believe this was a Mourinho team - zonal marking not only in the penalty area but throughout the midfield too! Result - no-one taking ownership of anyone and Barca had a ball (and most of the pitch). I couldn't believe my eyes - let's hope this is the strategy Inter bring to The Bridge tonight. Game on - I fancy United in the quarters!

  • Comment number 52.

    To 23 & 28... "Fergie IS the club (MU)"

    Fair point, when he goes they will suffer (and I'm sure everyone else will be delighted ;-))

    But doesn't seek the spotlight. He has earned the status of number one through his continued success. I just can't see a 'self-proclaimed' star fitting straight in there. That's why I posed my question to Phil really, as he seems to think it would work...

  • Comment number 53.

    Labsab9:

    Nice to see me old pal Labsab9 back in the moderation queue. It was like he dissapeared off the face of the earth yesterday from about 10 am.

    We were accused of being 'off-topic' yesterday pal (you probably received an e-mail to inform you) so I'll make a quick prediction to avoid this comment being removed.

    Chelsea 2 Inter Milan 1. (after normal time)

    Chelsea 3 Inter Milan 2 (AET) Inter progress via away goals rule.

    Mourinho celebrates with a 'Giggsyesque' caveman celebration, - just a joke!

  • Comment number 54.

    #37 Purplepen:
    Simple , the guy oozes personality!

    ---------------------------------------------------

    He has personality, but this hero worshiping is bordering on a man-crush. Phil Brown has personality but is widely seen to be a massive toolbag, and rightly so.

  • Comment number 55.

    Mostly politic, true: but top-quality one. We need it, 'cause (unfortunately) in Italy football is above all politic (have you ever heard about next serie A's probabibly winner owner, "geriatric" AC Milan? take a look...).
    As regards the matter of football, and of life: the right man in the right place...
    Blatter and Platini: please stop them!
    Capello: ok
    Lippi: ha was very very good, but it's over!
    Ferguson: ok
    Ancelotti: ok
    Mourinho: ok, but I think short-staying
    Wenger: ok, but waiting for remarkable wins
    Zola: the best man, but I don't know anything about the situation at West Ham
    Mancini: ???????

  • Comment number 56.

    I like Mourinho, he's funny and on the level, SO WHY IS IT THEN THAT HE'S STUPED ENOUGH TO BE PALS WITH TERRY AND COLE?

  • Comment number 57.

    As a Season Ticket holder at Chelsea and attending tonight’s game .................I always want United to succeed in Europe, same with Liverpool, Arsenal.

    ------------------------------------

    Arsenal? Now that's just a bit weird then.

  • Comment number 58.

    To throbbinrobin...yes, I have said before I think Mourinho would be the ideal successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, and Ferguson himself makes no attempt to disguise his respect for Mourinho.

    I take the point that he is such a focal point for attention that some might think he regards himself as bigger than the club, but even Mourinho's biggest critics cannot accuse him of being daft.

    He will know the score at a club of United's size - and on the flip side, his outrageous self-confidence means he would be one of the few people totally undaunted by the prospect of succeeding one of the greatest managers in the history of the game.

    As for the game itself, really too close to call. Mourinho's presence alone may just cast doubts in a few Chelsea minds and he will know one goal against a defence that has been vulnerable recently will pile huge pressure on the home side.

    I'd be surprised if it was an open game, but you never know with Mourinho.

    And as for all of those complaining about the British media's obsession with Mourinho, I am perfectly happy to admit I admire him. His record alone deserves that respect.

    I also think life in the Premier League is just a little duller without him. Someone told me last night - not sure if it true but no reason to suggest it isn't - that Chelsea have had 300 applications for media accreditation for this game.

    This is reportedly twice the normal number. Mourinho is box office.

    I also suspect plenty of fans who come on here criticising him would love to have him as manager of their club.

  • Comment number 59.

    #46 Andrew

    As a license payer, I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask for explanations about certain things.

    The limitations appear to be pointless and I am by no means the only one that complains about the moderation process.

    Do you think that the link to the blog should be on the article, rather than a link to a 606 thread?

    Do you think pre-moderation is necessary?

    Both these issues contribute to stilting discussion and debate.

  • Comment number 60.

    I've been a fan of Mourinho since his days at Porto. I love this man. Hope he returns to England soon.

    P.S. I've got a feeling there might be a penalty shoot-out tonight.

  • Comment number 61.

    #53 Jamie

    Yes got the e-mail mate bit of a strange one but at least we managed to finish the debate before we got modded!!!

    I like your prediciton for tonights game i hope it transpires that way!!!

    What about your comment saying Ferguson won the European Cup with Aberdeen?

    Told you that you can't be right all the time ha ha!!!!

    Hope the mods are in gear today hour and a half waiting for moderation yesterday thats why i didn't bother posting anything.

  • Comment number 62.

    So many blogs in such a short space of time and I can’t help wondering if you got a little confused when writing them Phil. The ego out of control... is apparently Phil Brown... whereas Mourinho is ‘pure theatre’. I wonder which one sings Sloop John B best!

    Is there a little bit of bias because Phil Brown is English? And Englishness involves not taking yourself too seriously? Whereas Mourinho’s big-headedness is acceptable because he’s foreign? Is it because Jose has more personal charm and charisma? Or is it because Phil Brown is not managing a glamour club?

    Phil Brown’s achievements in the last two years have been phenomenal, and he has not had the credit he deserves. Using the egg analogy Phil Brown has actually created a much better meal than Jose, Alex, Arsene or Rafa recently considering his ingredients!

    Having said that the Premier League is certainly more entertaining with Jose. He is a character, and did provide great entertainment. It will be interesting to see who he actually joins when he does come back to the Premiership.

  • Comment number 63.

    For God's sake what the hell is this article all about? Sometimes things are just too stupid to ignore.

  • Comment number 64.

    Thanks for the corrections Labsab 9 and United Dreamer!

    I have just checked and he also won the Super Cup, as well as the cup winners cup.

    Well in that case it's back to my original argument.

    Post 30)

    Lith United wrote (8):

    He is a good coach, but needs a second Champions League win to be considered great.

    As a fellow United fan I would like to be able to agree with you, but a statement like that I simply can't.

    Going off your logic are you saying you didn't think Alex Ferguson was a great manager until his second Champions League capture in 2008 against Chelsea.

    Many people would also class Arsene Wenger as a great manager and he, - aprt from the 06 CL final against Barcelona has been a good distance from capturing the trophy.

    A response is welcome!

    Cheers fellas!


  • Comment number 65.

    #19 Andrew said:
    "I'm not a Chelsea fan but I am a Mourinho fan. His time in the Premiership was a bit like your favourite few years at school, you didn't really how much you enjoyed them until they were gone."

    I'm a Chelsea fan and that is exactly how I think about him. Furthermore my favourite few years at school were going on at the same time as he was our manager xD

  • Comment number 66.

    #58 Phil

    On Mourinho at Man U, I think Bobby Charlton has already suggested that someone of Mourinho's method's wouldn't go down well with Man U's history, rightly or wrongly.

    In terms of respect, I think it is laughable that members of the media talk about respect given how often they will trash people for the sake of selling a few newspapers or making a name for themselves, whilst turning a blind eye to the problems that the game supposedly has.

    300 press accreditations? How many of those are tickets that should be going to fans?

    Finally, he was the manager of the club I support. He got too big for his boots and had to be moved on.

    (Oh, and any chance of anyone answering my questions about 606 links and moderation issues that I keep asking?)

  • Comment number 67.

    mourinho is a legend,even us rival fans have to accept hes a great manager and a great entertainer.his achievements since leaving the bridge havent quite matched those during his tenure there,but winning the serie a isnt exactly childs play either.hope he comes back to the pl at some stage,preferably as fergies successor.hes the only man capable of doing the job in my opinion.

  • Comment number 68.

    Phil

    Manager of Arsenal? Dont think so Phil. Somebody like him 13/14 yrs ago would have been nice, but not now. Hes a type that needs a particular type of Club i.e one that wants short term success and an injection of energy and wants to cough up to get it so to add to the fun. It also needs a Club who have no wish to put down any strong foundation as a Buprint for the longer term, as hes never going to be anywhere very long. Its this that means he'll never find his way in to the bosses chair at Arsenal or Man U. He would do Liverpool a bit of good though. The Club is staid and drab and presently has nothing. No direction or energy and is at risk of going back to its pre 1963 anonymity. Jose M is made for them right now.

  • Comment number 69.

    In response to Labsab9:

    Labsab 9 wrote:

    What about your comment saying Ferguson won the European Cup with Aberdeen?

    Told you that you can't be right all the time ha ha!!!!

    My response:

    And as I said Labsab nor do I profess to be, and I am gracious when proven wrong. Don't want to sound a bit 'Mourninhish' here but you did acknowledge I make a lot of good, valid points, - as do you I might add, so I think there is a mutual respect between us.

    I hope!

    I have to be honest I would have bet my life Ferguson won the European cup with Aberdeen. Just goes to show.

    I'll try and get one back on you here.

    Who is the only player to win three Champions League (not European Cups) trophies, with three different clubs?

    I'll tell you the answer in my next blog if you can't get it!

    Cheers pal.

  • Comment number 70.

    Phil McNulty started this article splendidly: Murinho is for the theatre. Football is not theatre though.

    I understand Chelsea fans having such admiration for him. After all, he made them invisible for two years, in England. They never lost under him at Stanford Bridge. It's enough for a club starved from success for half a century to put someone at the most special place in their hearts.

    Does Murinho measure though for such a privilidge, when he is judged from others? A lot of Italians say no. A lot of English fans say no, too.

    a) Murinho won the Portuguese championship with Porto. But, it is a surprise when Porto don't win the Portuguese championship.
    b) Murinho won the Champions League with Porto - the fluke one. All big teams cancelled each other out and the last one was cancelled by the french side, beaten by Porto in the final, if I recollect correctly. Since then, he keeps safe distance from this trophy.
    c) At Chelsea, Murinho found a top four team, prepared by Ranieri and found Drogba, Lampard, Terry in their prime. Oh yes, he also found a billionaire who wanted to change the arena of English football. I hand it to him that he proved to many that money and a basis of excellent players can win the premiership right away - people didn't believe that can happen before.
    d) And in Italy? he won the championship but failed to progress in Champions League. But Mancini won it too. Inter Milan are top, one (1) point ahead of AC Milan, with a better goal difference by just seven (7) goals. Is that an improvement on what Inter Milan won before? Do people forget accusing Manchester United that they beat 4-0 the ghost of AC Milan? How come and Internazionale are not invisible to that ghost?
    e)In the home tie, at San Siro, Inter Milan had some diabolical luck: had the referee seen the penalty committed by the Inter Milan center back, Chelsea might have come back winners on the day, as that player should have also been red carded, being the last defender on a goal scoring opportunity.
    f) Last year, Murinho came to England again with Inter Milan. They were drawn against Manchester United (started laughing because I remembered his antics and the ease with which we overpowered them).

    And we have Murinho, on the return leg of a dubious 2-1 first leg, talking about himself. Great :)

    I dislike Murinho as a football manager, not because I am a Manchester United fan, but because this guy creates teams playing ugly football and the whole world turns around him, in his opinion. It is not because he was Chelsea's manager. I couldn't write the same about Ancelotti.

    1. He's got vast experience in football, both as a player and a manager.
    2. He won repeatedly the Champions League and never boasted about it, neither has he ever called himself as special.
    3. He's always honest in front of the cameras, even when his team don't win.
    4. Without purchases of players, he keeps Chelsea challenging for the premiership and well into contention in the Champions League, besides Chelsea start ageing as a team.
    5. He gets on with his work, no matter the obstacles he faces on the way, without theatrical cries.

    I can never be sort of praise for Ancelotti.
    But Murinho is for the theatre. Well said. I am sure he knows the way to Leicester Square - he can choose a special one.

    Chelsea will win today.
    They will progress.
    And this theatrical glossy dust will settle.
    Tonight, in Italy, they will know that Murinho failed twice to progress to the last 8 of the champions league.
    A few hours left.

  • Comment number 71.

    26

    "Why are Italians the only people who can see JM for what he really is?

    Like a politician - all spin."


    Exactly.

  • Comment number 72.

    Honestly apart from Ian Holloway the majority of English/British managers are boring, boring, boring! Too boring!!! No wit, no sarcasm...too afraid to be controversial.

    Unfortunately, too many people are jealous when a vibrant, spoilt and entertaining character like Mourinho turns up.

    For some, they would rather die in their boredom, choosing to drink away their lack of personality. For some us, we welcome people like Mourinho - they are authentic, unafraid to air their views, controversial and a genuine breath of fresh air!

    I am a United fan, but I cried when Mourinho left. Till today, I cannot explain why he brought out that emotion in me but I did cry unashemedly, consoled by my dear wife.

    He represented the winning mentality I wanted us to have at that time. By the way, I still cannot see a Mourinho team losing out so lamely and without fight as we did to Barcelona in the CL finals last year. I was appalled! And I thought some of our losses over the years too were entirely avoidable but then I digress...

    Truth is I love the man. So many people do! There has to be a reason for this. Indeed he is special. How old is he? 45? Yet he has won almost as much as the Trappatoni's and Capello's of this world.

  • Comment number 73.

    Mourinho's Inter have no identity whatsoever. He sets his team up as an impeccable defensive unit (akin to what Benitez does with Liverpool) and then waits for Sneijder or Fto'o to conjure up something up front.

    Phil, if you follow Serie A, you would know this. Mouth Mourinho is seriously overrated. Let's not forget that this man earns more than Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

    And by the way, I don't want him anywhere near Old Trafford when Fergie goes (I'm hoping that that won't happen for another 5 years at the very least). Liverpool hoofball club can have him though. Them scouse like their sideways footie.

  • Comment number 74.

    Phil after reading many of your articles i believe we have the same opinion to many articles so i thought id become a user. mate i think that inter have it in the bag to be honest. Their loss of Cech is ridiculously important to Mourinho's plans and with a front line that features a line of great finishers such as eto'o and diego milito. If the defense is solid against drogba and Anelka, inter's victory i think is assured.

  • Comment number 75.

    Mourinho wasn't fired from Chelsea because he got "too big for his boots" as post #66 claims but because he did not want the owner telling him which players to put in his team (i.e. Shevchenko)? how quickly people forget....

    History shows that Mourinho's argument was correct, Shevchenko was a monumental failure at Chelsea.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Phil, thanks for your answer. I hope you are correct about Mourinho for MU (on all counts). The prospect of the most talented manager at the biggest club is mouth watering (frightening for the rest of English & European football).

    To the historians who are busy recounting Aberdeen's Euro successes, yes, they won the Cup Winners' Cup in 83, but they also beat the European Cup winners, Hamburg 2-0 over two legs to win the Super Cup that same year.

    They reached the semis of the Cup Winners' Cup the next year and the quarter finals of the European Cup two years later.

    Then Fergie went to MU and that outstanding period in Aberdeen's history was over.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    As a usual critic of Phil's blog because of his bias on this occassion i lean towards accepting that he has made some valuable points.

    Football is first a sport and on those counts his footballing accolade is not in doubt, show me any coach in the world who has the same record of not loosing at home in 3 different countries at 3 different clubs.....
    that is no fluke...

    When he was in England, I could not stand Mourinho but that was because he always took my club to the cleaners each time we played his team, before he came into London, Chelsea's record against the top 4 team was not impressive but he should be praised for what he has given to the chelsea team - the will to win.

    Secondly, Football is entertainment and you cannot argue that Mourinho provides that entertainment... so get over it.


    A good manager before a match maps out his tactics and strategies and I dare say all the hype and noise from Mourinho is part of that strategy; to remove the pressure from his team and focus them on himself which always works as a charm.

    Chelsea would be very lucky to keep their heads and focus on the football today, it would not surprise me if the chelsea players would not be asking for his autograph......

    He has beaten chelsea at his home ground (Inter), much remains to be seen if he can do it again at his "home ground" where he has never lost.

  • Comment number 79.

    Hmmm,

    Phil, refreshing to see you didn't use the old phrase, "A breath of fresh air"! All the not so bright pundits used that phrase one after the other like sheep; it was even dragged out when Big Phil came to Chelsea.

    I can see why journos think he's theatre and good box office but surely you all have the intelligence to realise it's all spin? Mind you it's quite funny listening to you all drool over and laud all the bull that comes from his mouth like a gang of star struck kids.

    I reckon I could call mysel the special one knowing I have an unlimited supply of money at a time when Man Utd were rebuilding and there was no other real opposition in the prem.

    Having said that I do like him.

  • Comment number 80.

    69. At 10:44am on 16 Mar 2010, Jamie Riley wrote:
    In response to Labsab9:


    My response:

    And as I said Labsab nor do I profess to be, and I am gracious when proven wrong. Don't want to sound a bit 'Mourninhish' here but you did acknowledge I make a lot of good, valid points, - as do you I might add, so I think there is a mutual respect between us.

    I hope!

    Absolutely mate

    I have to be honest I would have bet my life Ferguson won the European cup with Aberdeen. Just goes to show.

    I'll try and get one back on you here.

    Who is the only player to win three Champions League (not European Cups) trophies, with three different clubs?

    I'll tell you the answer in my next blog if you can't get it!

    Easy Clarence Seedorf - Ajax, Real Madrid & AC Milan

    Cheers pal.

  • Comment number 81.

    A great coach, proven ability and success, a great character, and just what we need in football, the Premiership would be much better for his return. He commands respect, he is fanatical about his research and detail of every club, his knowledge of the game is exceptional. He speaks 4 languages to ensure he understands his players, their backgrounds and personalities.

    As a larger than life character he attracts envy and resentment, basically he is far more intelligent and perceptive than most, so that's inevitable. He thrives on it.

    What exactly have Chelsea done since he left?

  • Comment number 82.

    " I also suspect plenty of fans who come on here criticising him would love to have him as manager of their club."

    As a Luton Town fan - that is a resounding YES !!!

    Although I'm not critical of Mourinho. For a premier league neutral like myself, he was always great to watch. Really looking forward to tonights game.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    JoeDavisRoach has it just right at # 1 for me...the self admiring ego who's ultimate achilles heel is his wildly excessive self admiration - didn't have that much revolutionary work to do with a winning team at Inter, and while his aggression and self-belief won the Blues two very welcome titles, his controversial influence at the club had long become divisive when he finally left, at which point they seemed to be beginning to wain somewhat as I recall. Not only that but wasn't Mr Special the one who decided not to buy Wayne Rooney from Everton at the time that Utd bought him because 'we already have a target man'. I remember thinking that was a big mistake at the time and his rating now as one of the worlds best would seem to prove that. And finally as for the winning big things and small things remark, it's a damn sight harder to win the EPL now than La Liga (with respect to our Italian friends) and even Avram Grant managed to take them further in the Champions league than Mourinho did.

  • Comment number 85.

    #72 Dapsy

    I am a Chelsea fan so perhaps a little blind in one eye. (Well, that is what I am accused of.)

    Anyway, when you talk about Man U and what they offered against Barcelona in last years final, perhaps you might like to consider Liverpool v Chelsea in 2005, for the 86 minutes after the 'ghost goal'.

  • Comment number 86.

    welcome back jose .. u are the special one and u will be the special one no matter wat the result is today .

  • Comment number 87.

    I'd like to counter what another UTD supporter wrote:

    As a UTD fan I hope that Chelsea batter Inter Milan. I'm all for any British team doing well in Europe! Anything to annoy the Spanish and Platini and Blatter.

  • Comment number 88.

    A lot of people have come here to mouth off about Mourinho's team playing ugly football. I beg to disagree sirs. Was it not the same Mourinho who played Robben and Duff on the wings in his first two season and they played terrorised full backs throughout those seasons supplying the Ammo for Drogba and Lamps to wreak havoc?

    Have you watched Inter recently by the way? Who do you think brought Sneidjer to the club? Do you see how the play a lovely free flowing game against lesser teams but become defensively obdurate against the more attacking teams...how they were able to beat Milan even with two men sent off?

    This is a man who knows how to change his team according to what needs to be done. Trust me, they will be very difficult to break down today and they will qualify at Chelsea's expense.

    I am a United fan and I realise we only beat them last year due to Ibrahimovic's profligacy in front of goal. I doubt Eto'o or Milito will be so generous.

  • Comment number 89.

    "Who is the only player to win three Champions League (not European Cups) trophies, with three different clubs?
    "

    Seedorf. It was mentioned in the commentary on Wednesday. Hardly obscure!

  • Comment number 90.

    great blog phil, and even though i'm a villa fan, i miss mourinho's unclear yet amusing analogies,his english quips with a foreign tang, and most of all his passion. he loves chelsea but he loves football and himself even more! no man that cool and successful should be restricted from having the title 'special one'. just praying he returns to the premier league, and brings his flying media circus with him. yes at times he detracted attention away from the football, but he also made regular press conference's and interviews, which are usually boring, highly entertaining. a real hero in the game, and when his time is up he will go down as one of the legends, purely as i think he still has a lot to achieve, and with his ego and self belief i have no doubts he will achieve everything he wishes.

  • Comment number 91.

    #75 SirMouseBurger

    I disagree, hence my post at #66.

    When Mourinho thought he had a blank cheque book everything was fine.

    When, in February 2007, he played Ferriera and Essien in the centre of defence against Liverpool, it was an act of petulance. He was saying that this is what I will do until you give me more money to buy more players, thus ignoring the central defenders that were in the reserves. It would seem that the reserves was not something he was interested in, he did not seem to be interested in the long term.

    A similar issue reared it's head again in September 2007 with his eggs and omelette speech. He wasn't given the money he wanted and he started to criticise the powers that be for this attitude.

    Put simply, he was being insolent to the people that paid the wages. Abramovich is bigger than Mourinho at Chelsea.

  • Comment number 92.

    First post of the day in reply to Phil's blogg got it spot on. Nothing more to add. The ego has landed!

  • Comment number 93.

    number 26..."Why are Italians the only people who can see JM for what he really is?

    Like a politician - all spin."

    Porto

    Portuguese Liga (2): 2002–03, 2003–04
    Portuguese Cup (1): 2002–03
    Portuguese SuperCup (1): 2003
    UEFA Cup (1): 2002–03
    UEFA Champions League (1): 2003–04

    Chelsea

    FA Premier League (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
    FA Cup (1): 2006–07
    League Cup (2): 2004–05, 2006–07
    FA Community Shield (1): 2005

    Internazionale

    Serie A (1): 2008–09
    Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2008


    you are wrong, he clearly is a quality manager

  • Comment number 94.

    It all makes sense now... you model yourself on your hero Mourinho, no wonder your blog posts are always designed to get all those negative comments (just check the Beckham one, where 80% of your readers disagree with you).

    Anyway, among the stating-the-obvious-in-a-Hello!-magazine-style dross you do write something not all your readers may be aware of:

    "The impression lingers that plenty in Italy regard Mourinho as a bluffer. They know special coaches when they see them and they have had plenty. In many eyes, Mourinho does not measure up."

    Which is exactly right, a lot of people (virtually everyone in the press, all the opposition supporters, and even many Inter supporters) do not regard him that highly as a tactician, and despair of his relationship with Balotelli, a difficult kid but supremely talented.

    Over there he's considered as a mixture of the worst of Benitez and Phil Brown.

  • Comment number 95.


    As a UTD fan, I hope that Inter can put Chelsea to bed tonight.
    Do i think they will? no...

    even A.C have dramaticaly closed the gap on them in the league.
    They lost 3-1 to a team which were placed about 16th in the league on Friday night - unfortunately i thought it would be a good idea to put 50 quid on inter to win.
    Yes i wasn't impressed.

    I have noticed, inter seem to get ALOT of red cards.
    I'm not sure if the statistics back this up but this is how I see things when i catch the games! be interesting if someone could get and stats on this?

    Phil - predictions for tonight?? :)

  • Comment number 96.

    Philip McNulty

    "As for the game itself, really too close to call. Mourinho's presence alone may just cast doubts in a few Chelsea minds..."
    ------------------------------------------------
    Philip, you really need to calm down on the whole "Mou can walk on water" thing. I know he's your hero, but he's not the Messiah - he's just a naughty boy.

    "I'd be surprised if it was an open game, but you never know with Mourinho."
    ------------------------------------------------
    Did you watch the first leg at all, or did you just spend the whole match gaping at Mourinho

  • Comment number 97.

    I can not wait for Mourinho to come back to the premiership, he makes it much more interesting. You can see vacancies at Liverpool, Man City, Manchester United and Arsenal over the next couple of years, and I think any of these would appeal to him. The only problem is Real Madrid, as I can see a vacancy appearing there at the end of the season if they don't win the title, and even if they do that might not be enough to save their manager. I think Real Madrid would appeal to Mourinho as well.

  • Comment number 98.

    30. At 09:23am on 16 Mar 2010, Jamie Riley wrote:


    ----------------------------

    Jamie - I find myself agreeing with you once again!
    Total nonsence about the C/L

    I however do believe he still can prove something as a manager. Apart from Porto he hasn't gone to a team that isn't wealthy with great players.

    But being a good manager, he will always fall at the feet of good clubs.

    I'm not so sure he's a 'great' manager, he certainly brings something different...I quite like the man.

  • Comment number 99.

    #59

    As a license payer, you have every right to ask for an explanation and no right to expect one. This is the way things are so shop whining that something is slightly different for a short time. It's hardly on an earth-shattering subject & surely you have something better to do?

    Great blog Phil, you're right, since Mourinho left Chelsea a lot of the spark has gone out of the press coverage of the big premier league games & he would be a welcome return at any club in my eyes.

  • Comment number 100.

    Mourinho had to be entertaining as it was the only entertainment on show at Stamford Bridge when he was manager. Capello is possibly a better manager as was Hiddink. I wouldn't want Mourinho to succeed Ferguson although there are many who would. We want another manager for the long term not one with a schedule of things he wants to achieve in his lifetime. The really great managers, at least in English football are those who left a legacy with one club - Matt Busby, Ferguson, Shankley, Clough (Forest was his real legacy), Paisley and Wenger. Mourinho is not a manager for United.

    To be honest we probably will have a fallow period after Ferguson but I don't want a manager with a reputation who encourages a period of excessive investment that our debts won't allow us to sustain and then who leaves us when things don't go to plan. I want a manager who will stick to the principles of investing in youth, playing attacking and entertaining football and who is there for the long haul.

 

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