The early years of José Mourinho were remarkable. In his first full season as Porto head coach, he achieved a domestic double and won the Big Vase, followed by a surprise win in the Big Cup the next season. At Chelsea, the “Special One” proved to be more successful than Claudio Ranieri, turning a disjointed team into a dominant force during a time when Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger, and a strong Liverpool team were at their peak. In just three years at Stamford Bridge, he won two Premier League titles, three Fizzy Cups, and one FA Cup. His time at Inter was also a success, ending with a famous treble victory that included defeating Barcelona on their path to another Big Cup. His arrival at Real Madrid did not bode well for Barcelona, as they won La Liga and Pep Guardiola left the team.
If Mourinho had retired after his time at Madrid, he could have been considered one of the greatest managers ever. While he may not have the most trophies or be a club legend, from 2002 to 2012, he had an incredible decade. Winning major competitions with Porto and even an aging Inter team was quite remarkable. Even the likes of Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, and Ryan Giggs were unable to stop Chelsea from winning consecutive Premier League titles. And defeating the legendary Barcelona team – possibly the best club team in history – to win the Spanish title with a record 100 points and 121 goals was simply amazing.
However, José managed to keep the team in good shape during the 12 years in between, but things have started to decline. He was able to win another Premier League title upon returning to Chelsea, but then issues began to arise. He also won European trophies with Manchester United, Tottenham (just kidding), and Roma, but these achievements were soon overshadowed by shortcomings and ultimately became his downfall. Towards the end of his time at Roma, José had become more of a showman, constantly seeking attention on the sidelines and blaming others for his mistakes. On Tuesday, as Roma struggled in ninth place and another mediocre season loomed, Mourinho was discreetly let go and a new era began.
Only Maximus Decimus Meridius, the Pope and Francesco Totti have more clout in Rome than Daniele De Rossi, and despite an underwhelming managerial stint with Spal, the former gladiatorial midfielder was ushered into the hot seat with the enthusiasm of Dion Dublin in a semi-detached three-bed. “I know no other way but dedication, daily sacrifices, and giving everything I have in order to face the challenges that await us,” De Rossi roared. “The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits us all has already taken precedence.” What next, though, for José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix? The show must go on. Newcastle, Saudi Arabia and even Porto have all been cited as possible landing pads. Mourinho has been a pain in people’s backsides and eyes for a while now, but surely he will give us one more wink. One more knee slide. One more cup of the ear to the heavens. Never before has there been a manager more determined to end things on his terms. This won’t be the end.
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“Today’s quote is: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
I would gladly accept, as it has always been my ultimate aspiration. There are certainly many talented football players. Sven-Göran Eriksson expressed his desire to coach Liverpool during his lifetime, and now, after Reds fans have initiated plans to make it a reality, he is eager to take on the role of leading a legends team at Anfield. The former England manager from Sweden recently announced that he has terminal cancer and expects to have a maximum of one year left to live.
FOOTBALL DAILY LETTERS
It makes a nice narrative to blame the Football League for what is going on at Reading (yesterday’s Football Daily), but it’s not correct. So long as a potential owner passes the owners and directors test (no relevant convictions, loads of cash) the EFL can’t stop the purchase of a club. As a membership organisation it only has the rules the members have agreed. That is the club owners. The EFL is reasonably well run under Trevor Birch. I’m not sure that was so true under Shaun Harvey, but I doubt any rules will stop someone who just runs a club terribly. Unless you have an NFL-style system where every owner has to be approved and there’s no relegation some bad owners will slip through. Good luck with getting the 72 current CEOs to vote for a system that allows the EFL to seize a club from its owners and sell it. Blaming the EFL for enforcing its rules and not enforcing rules it doesn’t have just seems perverse. I’m not saying the rules are great, but they are what they are. It’s also worth pointing out the EFL tried to get Dai Yongge banned from football for 12 months which might not have forced a sale, but would help, but were turned down by an independent disciplinary commission. It’s difficult to see what else it can do” – Matt Robb.
When I read about Reading and their “owner,” it brought back memories of when I was a kid and got a bike for Christmas. The bike was great, but seeing “Dai Yung” as the tire brand didn’t make me feel very secure before I went for a ride. – Greg Wynn.
In yesterday’s edition of the Football Daily, there was a discussion about Troy Deeney’s struggles at Forest Green. It struck me as strange that the peaceful Nailsworth community, known for their eco-friendly approach and use of unconventional materials such as wood, tofu, and soluble socks, have now turned to managers who prioritize physicality and aggression in their forwards. First it was Duncan Ferguson, and now the hope is that Troy will be successful or they may have to resort to someone like Billy Whitehurst – Jon Millard.
Did you realize that Manchester City has consistently been unkind to Crystal Palace? During the 2022-23 season, whenever Palace possessed the ball, Manchester City committed fouls against them every 1.7 minutes both at home and away. However, in the same season, during their derby match against United at their home stadium, they only committed fouls against them once every 13.8 minutes when they had possession of the ball. Instances of fair play like these should be brought to attention more frequently – David Rose.
Please send any correspondence to [email protected]. The recipient of today’s letter o’ the day is Jon Millard, who will receive a copy of The Africa Cup of Nations: The History of an Underappreciated Tournament from Pitch Publishing. Check out their football book selection at their online store.
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