No way José: the special one gets the sack

Roller coaster: Mourinho has managed 909 games for seven clubs, winning 589 and losing 134.

Is Mourinho finished? Dropped points, player feuds and public outbursts: José Mourinho’s rocky reign at Manchester United has come to an end. Some say his best days are very much behind him.

“Please don’t call me arrogant because what I am saying is true […] I think I am a special one.” It was with these immortal words that José Mourinho triumphantly announced his arrival in English football 14 years ago.

But those days are over. After leading Manchester United to their worst start to a season since 1990, Mourinho is out.

Several reasons for his demise have been suggested: a lack of attacking football; unwise decisions in the transfer market; and rifts between him and certain star players.

Fundamentally though, he did not win enough games. With just 26 points from 17 matches, he leaves United closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table.

Mourinho burst onto the international scene in 2004 when he won the Champions League with Portuguese outsiders Porto. The following year he moved to Chelsea, winning the Premier League with a record 95 points. More trophies followed at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and a second spell at Chelsea.

However, Mourinho’s spiky personality ensured he was always loved and loathed in equal measure.

And as results started to go against him this season, his outbursts became more frequent: “I am one of the greatest managers in the world,” he declared recently.

Perhaps that was true once, but has Mourinho’s time now passed?

Game over

Yes, some say. Mourinho’s arrogance was always going to lead to his downfall. He loses without grace, and when the going gets tough, he cannot accept responsibility. Mourinho may have been “special” once, but those days are long gone.

Not so fast, others respond. All the greats go through bad patches. And Mourinho certainly has nothing to prove: his visionary tactical skills and extreme competitive edge have changed the modern game forever. There is nothing to stop him bouncing back.

You Decide

  1. Should he have been sacked?

Activities

  1. Would you describe Mourinho as a hero or a villain? Are there any other famous people you can think of that also divide opinion in this way? Why are they divisive? Is it possible, or even desirable, to be liked by everyone?

Some People Say...

“Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.”

José Mourinho

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Despite his poor start to the season, Mourinho’s record at Manchester United does not compare too unfavourably to his predecessors. His win rate of 56.78% is higher than that of Louis van Gaal and David Moyes.
What do we not know?
We do not know who Mourinho’s successor will be. Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the favourite to take over, at least until the end of the season.

Word Watch

Arrogant
Having an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance, skills or abilities.
Transfer market
In his time at the club, he spent £400 million on 11 players.
Star players
Mourinho publicly criticised several of his players, including Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial.
Porto
In international tournaments, Porto is the most successful Portuguese team, winning a total of seven major trophies.
Loathed
When something or someone is intensely disliked.

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