José Mourinho may have been axed, but surely the show must go on? | football


José Mourinho’s early years were something. In his first full season as Porto head coach he won the domestic double and Big Vase and led the team to a surprise Big Cup the following season. At Chelsea, the “Special One” did what Claudio Ranieri couldn’t: he molded a disjointed team into a winning machine; in the age of Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and a European-winning Liverpool team, no less. Two Premier League titles, three Fizzy Cups and an FA Cup in three years at Stamford Bridge. Ridiculous. His spell at Inter was another triumph, culminating in a famous treble; in which he sank The The Barcelona team is on its way to another major trophy. Things didn’t go much better for Barça when they arrived at the Bernabéu, as Real Madrid won La Liga and Pep Guardiola was forced out of the city.

If Mourinho had hung up his whiteboard after those days in Madrid, he would probably be the best coach to ever be in the dugout. Perhaps not in terms of overall wins or club legend status, but from 2002 to 2012, arguably no football manager ever had a better decade. Winning major trophies with Porto and even an aging Inter team was scandalous behavior. Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs could only watch as Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles. And potentially beat the greatest Barcelona team of all time The The greatest club team of all time – winning the Spanish title with a record of 100 points and 121 goals is absolutely wild.

However, José kept the good ship sailing over the past 12 years and things went a bit downhill. Another Premier League title followed on his return to Chelsea, but then the strings in his luxurious wool coat began to unravel. More European trophies followed at Manchester United, Tottenham (just kidding) and Roma, but these soon became flaws, and the flaws became holes. By the end of Mourinho’s time at Roma, José was practically a professional vibesman, a tragic actor who made faces in front of the cameras, invented new ways to be the center of attention on the sidelines and blame the spectators for his mistakes. On Tuesday, with Roma in ninth place and another domestic season slipping into mediocrity, Mourinho was quietly ushered out a back door marked “Do One” and a new era was born.

“Drive up in a Bentley…” Photo: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Only Maximus Decimus Meridius, the Pope and Francesco Totti have more influence in Rome than Daniele De Rossi and despite a disappointing coaching spell at Spal, the former Gladiators midfielder has been put in the hot seat with the enthusiasm of Dion Dublin in a double-team triple. “I know no other way than dedication, daily sacrifices and giving everything I have to overcome the challenges that await us,” roared De Rossi. “The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits all of us has already taken priority.” But what happens next for José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix? The show must go on. Newcastle, Saudi Arabia and even Porto were mentioned as possible landing sites. Mourinho has been a pain in the ass for people for a while now, but he will surely give us another wink. Another knee slide. Another ear to heaven. Never before has there been a manager more determined to get things done on his terms. This won’t be the end.


Catch minute-by-minute coverage of Tunisia’s 2-1 win over Namibia with Daniel Gallan from 5pm GMT, while Scott Murray will then be there for the FA Cup third round replay later in the evening.


“Of course I would accept that, that was my dream. There would be a lot of good football players” – after revealing he would have liked to manage Liverpool in his life, Sven-Göran Eriksson said he would jump at the chance to manage a team of legends at Anfield after Reds fans gave theirs Plans put into action would have made it possible. The former Sweden coach revealed last week that he has terminal cancer and has “at best” a year to live.

Sven Göran Eriksson
Sven-Göran Eriksson, pictured in front of Anfield’s Shankly Gates in 2001. Photo: Phil Noble/PA

It’s a nice narrative to blame the Football League for what’s going on in Reading (yesterday’s Football Daily), but it’s not accurate. As long as a potential owner passes the owner and director test (no relevant convictions, lots of money), the EFL cannot stop the purchase of a club. As a membership organization, only the rules that the members have agreed to apply. These are the club owners. The EFL is reasonably well run under Trevor Birch. I’m not sure if that was the case under Shaun Harvey, but I doubt any rules can stop someone from simply being terrible at running a club. Unless you have an NFL-like system where every owner has to be approved and there is no relegation, some bad owners will slip through. Good luck getting the 72 current CEOs to vote for a system that allows the EFL to wrest 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 noting that the EFL tried to ban Dai Yongge from football for 12 months, which might not have forced a sale but would have been helpful, but was rejected by an independent disciplinary committee. It’s hard to see what else it can do” – Matt Robb.

Reading about Reading and the name of her “owner” reminded me of when I was a kid and got a bike for Christmas one year. The bike itself was very nice, but I have to say that the Dai Yung tire brand did not fill me with confidence when I set off” – Greg Wynn.

Regarding Troy Deeney’s travails at Forest Green (yesterday’s Football Daily, full email edition). I found it strange that the genteel community of Nailsworth, which had built a club in the Cotswolds on wood, tofu and water-soluble socks (I may not have been keeping up), has recently only sought managers for the “handful in the air”. nothing bothers him, he doesn’t mind his centre-forward variant. first Duncan Ferguson; Now everyone enjoys a nice sherry and better hope it works out well for Troy, otherwise it might Billy Whitehurst next” – Jon Millard.

Did you know that Manchester City were a real idiot for Crystal Palace? In the 2022/23 season, when Palace had the ball, they were fouled every 1.7 minutes home and away. And yet that same season they played the derby against United at home and fouled them despite only having the ball once every 13.8 minutes. Fair Play Times (FPTs) Such cases need to be reported more frequently” – David Rose.

Send your letters to [email protected]. Today’s Letter of the Day winner is…Jon Millard, who gets his hands on a copy of The Africa Cup of Nations: The Story of an Underrated Tournamentpublished by Pitch Publishing. Visit her football bookstore here.

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