Could José Mourinho’s career be coming to an end, or is there a possibility that he could transform into the Geordie One?

Estimated read time 6 min read


The Premier League, let’s always remember, is essentially the most widely watched drama in the world. While there is the actual sport of football, with its wins and losses, which is important, there is also a constant stream of drama, outlandish storylines, intrigue, and over-the-top theatrics. It is the combination of these two elements that has made football a worldwide obsession. Just like any good soap opera, a great villain is necessary and the greatest in football is José Mourinho, also known as the Dirty Den, Paul Robinson, or JR Ewing of the sport.

Mourinho, who is currently 60 years old, now sports white hair and his eyes are overshadowed. His usual tactics have become less effective. He is no longer able to accurately predict the outcome of matches. As the game has evolved, so have the players. He is no longer able to ignite his teams with the same passionate vengeance as before. In the past, he ridiculed Rafa Benítez for winning the Europa League, but now he celebrates winning the Conference League. Last season, he was so upset about not winning the Europa League that he waited for the referee Anthony Taylor in the parking lot after the final.

Despite his recent decline, there is still an undeniable allure to Mourinho. Shortly after being fired by Roma, there were reports claiming that Newcastle had no plans to hire him. While this was simply a response to inquiries rather than an official statement, it is telling that so many journalists and social media users made the connection. It begs the question – why would a team backed by the immense financial resources of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, who are striving for success, choose a coach who has not been at the top of his game for ten years? And yet, despite these doubts…

Many supporters may continue to support Eddie Howe despite recent struggles. The director of sports, Dan Ashworth, may prefer someone who is more tactically advanced rather than a coach whose successes come from a time of defensive play before the Guardiola-style revolution.

However, it is unclear who is actually in charge of decision-making at Newcastle. Due to the fact that they have not had to change managers since Howe took over for Bruce in October 2021, there is uncertainty about who is making the important calls. Mourinho’s reputation was enough to impress even experienced chairman Daniel Levy at Tottenham in 2019. It would not be surprising if he caught the attention of Yasir al-Rumayyan or other executives from Saudi Arabia, especially considering his role as a board member at the Mahd Sports Academy in Jeddah, where he works alongside influential figures such as Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud and the assistant sports minister.

Additionally, there is a certain sense about Mourinho potentially joining Newcastle that feels fitting. This feeling is not solely due to his previous comment three years ago, in which he referred to himself as a “little Magpie” after hearing stories of the club and its passionate fans from the legendary Bobby Robson. Mourinho’s greatest achievements at Porto, Chelsea, and Internazionale have been with clubs that have positioned themselves as underdogs challenging the established elite. This aligns with how Newcastle’s chief executive, Darren Eales, has portrayed the club – a financially limited team, plagued by their wealthy owners, and restricted by profit and sustainability regulations – as he discussed last week.

José Mourinho exchanges words with Anthony Taylor during last year’s Europa League Final.

After being taken over by PIF, Newcastle appears to have adopted a negative attitude. Some of their passionate fans are exhibiting extreme paranoia, believing any criticism regarding human rights violations or state-funded title purchases is a result of loyalty to the club or a larger scheme to oppress the people of Newcastle. This mindset could easily attract a manager like Mourinho, known for his sulking and complaining. The timing of Mourinho’s departure and Newcastle’s recent string of losses in the league seems too convenient to be true.

However, if Newcastle were to fail, Mourinho’s next move is uncertain. It should be noted that the club has stated that Howe’s job is not in jeopardy. Mourinho has openly expressed his desire to manage Portugal in the future, but that position will not be open until after the Euros at the earliest. Currently, Roberto Martínez has led the team to 10 consecutive wins and an impressive goal difference of 36-2.

Which teams are interested in signing him? Could he make a comeback at Chelsea, solidifying their position as a top football club under the ownership of Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, and becoming the prime example of a club as a source of humor? Or will he end his career with a grand finale at Paris Saint-Germain? Perhaps he will return to Barcelona in triumph, with Joan Laporta finally making the decision he passed on in 2008 when he chose Pep Guardiola instead. Will he be able to reignite the style of play that dominated the world for 15 years?

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Unfortunately, there are hardly any alternatives that do not immediately sound comical – the kind of situation you would enjoy witnessing, but would dread happening at your own club. Mourinho’s time at Roma was slightly different from his recent positions, as he maintained popularity with fans until the very end and encountered relatively less toxicity. However, it still followed the typical pattern: an initial boost upon his arrival and potential early success, followed by tension with players and/or management as performance declines, ultimately leading to a final breakdown.

As time goes on, the successes of each job seem to decrease. Competing for sixth place in Serie A and considering it a victory due to limited resources may not be fitting for a manager who was once highly ambitious.

What’s next for Mourinho? He is not motivated by money, as a recent study listed him as the richest coach in the world with a net worth of nearly £100m. Instead, it appears he is fueled by resentments and a desire to prove that his decision to reject the Barcelona principles in 2008 was correct. He has turned away from pressing and possession, opting instead for a reactive approach.

In order to achieve his ultimate goal, he requires a stage to showcase his talent. The clubs that may be interested in him and have the financial means are not likely to pursue him. It seems reasonable for him to consider joining the Saudi Pro League, but his story in the Premier League’s dramatic narrative calls for him to make one last appearance at St James’ Park for Sir Bobby.


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