9 Reasons Why Mourinho is Still the Special One
EPL By: Okanga Okanga | 28/11/2016
The legendary Portuguese coach has suffered recently, leading many to conclude that he has lost his touch of greatness. Here we offer nine reasons why the "Special One" cannot be eradicated just yet and - hate or love - would continue to live long in our hearts.
He Still Hasn't Lost to Wenger
It is a record that must give the Gunners fans, and indeed the manager himself, a lot of irritation. Jose Mourinho has squared up in 14 Premier League matches against his rival and has not lost any. 13 of those were with Chelsea. The record stands at 7 wins and 7 draws. Even in their poor run of form, Mourinho's United were clearly the better side yet again against Wenger's Arsenal when the two clashed on November 19. Special or not, Mourinho has a special hold on Wenger that the Frenchman cannot seem to escape from.
Even Guardiola Has Found the EPL Tough
Six wins in his first six matches and we all thought Pep Guardiola was going to steamroll the Premier League like he did La Liga. That impression has changed over the past month or so as the world's most coveted manager has also had to come to grasps with the intensity of the English game. Guardiola’s City side have also been on the receiving end of a defeat by Mourinho’s side this season – a match in which they did not get a shot on target. The almighty Pep may be better off in comparison but Mourinho is surely not alone in the struggle.
Madrid Still Haven't Won La Liga Since He Left
The only Madrid manager to wrestle La Liga from Pep Guardiola's domineering Barcelona in 2012. Cristiano and Ramos may not be huge fans of Mourinho, but without the Special One they haven't managed another Liga title.
Chelsea Slump Not All His Fault
The Special One paid the price for Chelsea's baffling slump of 2015/2016 after leading the club to the title the season before. His public tantrums did not help play down the notion that he was the spoiler. However, time has passed and the players have revealed it themselves.
Thibaut Courtois confessed to his own poor form, Eden Hazard admitted to his lack of fitness and Diego Costa said he turned up for preseason overweight. Then there was the Eva Caneiro debacle which caused distraction all season.
Maybe Mourinho's error was in letting his players over-enjoy their holiday and then turn up unprepared for business. In all their terrible form Chelsea still managed to beat Arsenal home and away and avoid defeat to their noisy London neighbors Spurs. The fact that Mourinho could mastermind such results means he still has the magic wand.
Moyes and Van Gaal Left a Mess
David Moyes showed gratitude to Sir Alex Ferguson for gifting him the United job by ripping apart his fellow Scotsman's backroom set-up. His management ensured a distorted transition at the club and turned them from a side with the belief of champions to a mediocre and miserable mid-table side.
Van Gaal spent a nation's fortune trying to reshape the side and ended up with a bloated Depay that never pays. His stifling style may also have contributed in keeping Mourinho's team from expressing themselves as the Portuguese would want.
The reality is partly that Mourinho inherited a mess at Old Trafford culminating in his own desperate attempts to reshape the side with a few classy signings. Mourinho's teams tend to be better in his second season. It is only a matter of time before he shapes things at the Reds.
Inter Milan Have Yet to Find a Manager Like Him
The Nerazzurri are still one of the richest clubs in Europe, especially with their Chinese investors. However, since the Portuguese led them to a remarkable domestic and European treble in 2010 and departed to Real Madrid, their capitulation has been unstoppable. Since Mourinho's departure, the like of Rafa Benitez, Claudio Ranieri, Walter Mazzarri, Roberto Mancini and Frank De Boer have managed the club, without success. Before Mourinho took over, Inter had not won the Champions League in four and a half decades. With the Special One gone, they may not do it again in his lifetime.
Last Manager to Win the Champions League with a Team from Outside the Top Euro Leagues
That record with FC Porto has stood for 12 seasons now. It does not look likely to break any time soon, unless you think like a Leicester fan. FC Porto's Champions League title of 2004 was simply exceptional in an era of domination by super-clubs; a real testament to how special Mourinho is. It also launched the careers of several hitherto unknown players into prominence: Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Costinha, Maniche, Paulo Ferreira, to name a few. You can't write him off until you write off that record.
Guiness World Records
In his decade-and-a-half management career, Mourinho has set enough records to set the world on fire. His Guiness world records alone include: Most Games Unbeaten at Home in the Premier League (77), Most Points in a Premier League Season (95), Most Champions League’s Won at Different Clubs (two), Youngest Manager to Reach 100 Champions League Games (49 years 12 days). There are countless other records that a single man may struggle to emulate, especially in a league as strong as the EPL. Mourinho may be setting some uncomplimentary records with Man United presently – especially with his frustration-borne disciplinary issue – but all these point to the fact that even a special human is also human.
A Bit of Tough Luck
Some of the challenges of Mourinho recently have been less about ability and more about ill-luck. Some of the results, especially at United this season, have not been a true reflection of performance as everything seems to be working against Mourinho's teams. Clear examples are the league games against Stoke City and Burnley. What can a man do in those circumstances?
Mourinho has stepped on many toes in his quest for greatness; something that may not earn him much sympathy in these trying times. However, this does not mean that he would not have cause to smile again. As they say, form is temporary and class is permanent. Just ask Job.