Arsenal FC: Why the Gunners Should Avoid Jose Mourinho
The Daily Mirror has reported this morning that Jose Mourinho is back in London and apparently looking to buy a house. Arsenal are mentioned as a possible destination for the two-time UEFA Champions League winner. But the Gunners must avoid Mourinho at all costs.
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have carefully cultivated an ethos and personality that does the club, its players and its supporters credit. The Gunners have striven to meet high footballing ideals.
They have placed an insistence on playing stylish, expansive football. Team construction has come via careful and patient youth development, within a structure based on fiscal responsibility.
Mourinho is the antithesis of these particular values. His various squads have been assembled by collecting together high-priced stars. Many of whom are functionary players, able to implement spoiling and destructive game plans whenever the situation calls for it.
There is a certain inherent cynicism to the way Mourinho has approached the game over the years. Though it is true that his teams have played some exceptional football, it is also equally true that any attacking flair is usually balanced with an equal degree of ruthlessly stifling defensive rigidity.
Supporters of Mourinho may point to this dichotomy as evidence of sound tactical flexibility. But in reality, it hints at a brutally pragmatic doctrine based on winning no matter the method or the cost.
This winning just for winning's sake is not about the glory of a particular club or the triumph of an appreciation of the game. Instead, it is concerned entirely with bragging rights and the accumulation of trophies as nothing more than baubles to be lauded as symbols of dominance, not celebrations of worthy achievement.
The game needs characters and Mourinho is nothing if not charismatic. Such an iconoclast belongs in the Premier League.
But his brash, abrasive personal demeanour is also embodied by his teams. His notorious touchline antics and overly demonstrative celebrations in victory do Mourinho and his teams a disservice.
The character and values Wenger has instilled at Arsenal make the club distinctive, but not superior. Each club, manager, player and supporter are free to decide the best route to success.
But that doesn't mean the Gunners should shy away from trying to live up to their lofty ideals. Hiring Mourinho would be a rejection of what Arsenal have come to represent under Wenger.
It would be a betrayal of those qualities such as exciting attacking football and prudent financial responsibility, that are supposed to soften the blow of seven trophy-less years.
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