Why the Premier League Needs Jose Mourinho Back

Willie Gannon@https://twitter.com/WillieGannonSenior Writer IMay 10, 2013

Jose Mourinho is needed by the English Premier League and Chelsea, more than ever now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired from Manchester United.

The vacuum left by the vacating Red Devils legend means that the EPL is now short on charismatic managers.

Ian Holloway, writing in his column for the Daily Mirror, hit the nail on the head for many Premier League fans when he said:

The return of the Special One wouldn’t just be good for Chelsea – it would give the whole of English football a lift.

The moment I read that Jose Mourinho could be on his way back to Stamford Bridge, the hairs on the back of my neck began to rise and my blood started pumping.

I am absolutely intrigued by, and in awe, of the fella.

Most of the football world is in awe with Mourinho regardless of whether people like or loathe him.

Jose wages war wherever he goes. He is a godsend for the reporting football media and the watching public. The Portuguese is the epitome of the manager you would want to be managing your team—and the man you would hate to be leading your opponents.

His coaching acumen guarantees that whatever team he takes over, Chelsea looks like the current favorites with Mourinho priced at 1-14 according to Oddschecker.com, they are certainties to play a major part in the title race.

Given Manchester United's easy Premier League victory this season, a man like Mourinho, who refuses to accept second place as a prize, would be more than welcome.

Alan Shearer echoed these sentiments in his column in The Sun. The English striking legend said:

What Mourinho will also bring is that added spice which makes the Premier League football’s most-watched soap opera.

The guy is box office. Let’s admit it we all love listening to him, whether we agree or disagree.

He brings an edge to everything he touches. Everywhere he’s been he has courted controversy. Throw him back into a pot which will already be stirred up by this summer’s transfer window and it really has you licking your lips.

Mourinho arrived in England after winning the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and was greeted by the very skeptical English media.

Few know that his "I am a special one" declaration was merely an attempt to show the skeptics that he was someone to take seriously after they had questioned his credentials to manage in the Premier League.

From there his legend grew and now after 13 years, there can be no doubt about it that Jose Mourinho is indeed a very, very special manager.

From inauspicious beginnings with Benfica in September 2000, Mourinho has won everything the domestic game can offer. Since 2002, he has not gone a full calendar year without winning at least one trophy.

To put his success in context, Sir Alex Ferguson won 49 trophies in a remarkable 40-year management career. Mourinho has won 20 trophies in 13 years. They are comparable in terms of coaching ability, man-management ability, motivational and leadership skills, and desire. 

He is rightly hailed as one of the best managers of all time. But what makes him so special? Why does he win so much? Why does he foster such following and belief from his players? 

For a start his preparation for matches almost goes unchallenged. Mourinho can often work 16-hour days between coaching, player management, scouting and preparing dossiers on his team's next opponents. With this kind of work ethic he shows his players that he too is willing to put in the long hours it takes to be successful.

In this regard he demonstrates to his players that he will work as hard as he can and beyond, so that when he asks them to do the same it becomes an easy choice. Once you have a player's respect he will run through walls or kick his own mother for you.

He recognizes that to be successful he must be a leader of men and brook no challenge. Stories of the Chelsea boot room's influence over managers and the club are well-known. Legend has it that in Mourinho's early weeks at the club, certain players complained to management about his style.

In true Mourinho form he called a team meeting and challenged the naysayers to speak up or forever hold their peace. Nobody said anything as Mourinho's steely glare moved from player to player. He had won his first significant game as Chelsea manager and with it he had also won the respect of the players.

As an assistant coach under Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal, he learned the key to being a successful manager is having a successful relationship with your players. If that bedrock does not exist, no amount of coaching or tactical know-how will do you any good.

Andre Villas-Boas, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, has also heralded the return of his former boss. Talking to the media in the build up to Tottenham Hotspur's match at the Blues, he had this to say to The Independent:

He has a wonderful history in this league and I think it will be spectacular to have him back.

He was loved in all the clubs where he has won titles, in Real Madrid the same. There is maximum respect for what he has achieved [in football].

Michael Laudrup, the Swansea City manager, echoed Villas-Boas' and Holloway's words by telling The Independent:

To have good managers in a top league is always good, and there will be a lot of nice press conferences for the media to look forward to.

He is a good manager, you just need to look at his CV and what he has achieved with all his clubs, so for him to return to Chelsea would be good for the Premier League.

As Robson's interpreter at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona, Mourinho was given an insight into the first-team manager's mind that few assistants ever get. Because he had to directly interpret Robson's words and then convey them in the manner the Englishman wanted, Mourinho basically became the voice and right arm of the manager.

By this stage he was already a top-class coach who worked with not only the team, but the goalkeepers as well. He was also preparing tactical workbooks on their next opponents for Robson and van Gaal to analyse. His road to the top was already well underway, and the legendary Englishman and Dutchman recognized Mourinho's intelligence, potential and single mindedness that all professional sportspeople possess.

Both also saw that Mourinho was a very clever tactician. 

For the uninitiated, Mourinho burst onto the scene in 2004 when he helped guide Porto past Manchester United on the way to his first Champions League triumph. Using a then-unconventional 4-2-3-1 formation, Porto frustrated the Red Devils' 4-4-2 across both legs. They countered Sir Alex Ferguson's team with great speed and tactical intelligence and were easily the better side.

That was almost the ground-zero day that 4-2-3-1 became the formation of choice in European and, as a result, world football.

It takes a very special coach to think outside conventional wisdoms and Mourinho is not afraid to follow his own convictions and beliefs to achieve an end result. There is no doubting his quality as a coach because he has adapted his formations, tactics and style of play wherever he has managed. The 4-2-3-1 he utilized at Real Madrid is vastly different from the system he initially used at Porto and then at Chelsea and Inter Milan.

His clever approach to organizing, leading and controlling every aspect of the game marks Mourinho out as not just the best soccer coach in the world, but probably the best coach of any sport.

Every coach wants to pit their wits against him, every journalist wants to interview him, every player wants to play for him, and every fans wants to love or hate him!

He is everything to all men, he is Jose Mourinho and the Premier League needs him back more than ever.


Statistics from uefa.com, fifa.com, www.premierleague.com, www.soccerbase.com

You can follow me on Twitter @WillieGannon and listen to me on the Hold the Back Page podcast.


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