Why Real Madrid May Be Set for Another La Liga Miss If Jose Mourinho Leaves
A glance into the history books reveals that Real Madrid have won La Liga 32 times; Barcelona just 21.
This season the Catalan club look set to knock another one off of Madrid's handsome lead by clinching their fourth title in the last five years—their second in three years since the arrival of Jose Mourinho in Spain.
But for the Portuguese coach it would quite possibly have been five in the last five seasons by the end of the current campaign, but would Mourinho's exit allow Los Blancos—who have forfeited the league in favor of cup success this year—another shot at the title?
History suggests not.
It suggests that Mourinho's management is based on winning in the short-term. Effective, but focused on immediate goals and moving forward, the aftermath of his departures haven't always proved simple.
He has built teams of players in their prime to win trophies domestically and in Europe and to topple powers previously thought untouchable. He's highly successful at producing the goods quickly during short periods in charge of clubs.
Most recently he left Inter Milan on a wave of success. The Italian club had won the league, the cup and the Champions League when the self proclaimed "Special One" announced he was leaving to take a shot at Josep Guardiola and Barcelona with Madrid.
The seasons that have followed have not been anywhere near as successful for Inter. Immediately after the 50-year-old's exit they relinquished their title to their city rivals AC Milan, while the season after that they finished sixth in Serie A—it's interpretation whether you describe that as decline or a rebuilding period.
Chelsea was slightly different, given that he left in the early stages of a season—his fourth in London—and not at the end of one as his meticulous planning would have preferred. He had won two titles in his three full seasons, though, getting the better of Sir Alex Ferguson, Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger.
The season he left the Stamford Bridge club, they failed to land the title and the next season they even slipped down to third in the Premier League behind Benitez's Liverpool.
Even Porto, who are so often a shoo-in for the Portuguese title, failed to clinch their domestic championship a year after winning the Champions League and a year after losing Jose Mourinho.
They finished second to Benfica but were quicker to realign themselves than Inter and Chelsea, and they have since won six of the seven available league titles.
Various reasons can be cited for why teams experience a dip after Mourinho.
One reason is that Mourinho builds teams for the now, without an eye on the future. Another being that his methods wear players down and, by the time he leaves, they are physically and mentally exhausted. A more simple explanation would be that it takes incoming managers time to create their mark on a new club, to find their feet and to implicate their ideas.
The truth is, probably the three of those will combine should Mourinho and Madrid part this summer, and Barcelona—buoyed by a healthy Tito Vilanova—would be strong favorites for La Liga come August.
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