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When asked about Jose Mourinho's methods on Sky Sports News, former apprentice-turned-West Brom manager Steve Clarke replied (via the Wall Street Journal): “His preparation for training and matches was on another level to what I’d ever seen. His attention to detail was extraordinary.”
This was true for Mourinho throughout his career, but it shned through with particular vehemence with Internazionale.
He inherited a broken team spirit, sure, but in 2008 the San Siro was housing world-class stars everywhere you turned.
He took his small tweaks and blew them up, opting for different patterns and base formations in most games. Esteban Cambiasso, Wesley Sneijder, Dejan Stankovic, Goran Pandev and Javier Zanetti are all freakishly versatile beings, able to adapt and change from one game to the next.
Mourinho frequently came up with something just a little bit different, which enabled him to stay ahead of the game and claim famous victories at Stamford Bridge and Camp Nou (aggregate).
They were nearly all variants of the 4-3-3, but he threw 4-4-2s and 4-5-1s in for good measure all the same.