Brendan Rodgers Says Jose Mourinho Had 'Huge Impact' on Managerial Career

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea look on during the Capital One Cup Semi-Final first leg match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on January 20, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has talked of the "huge impact" Jose Mourinho has had on his managerial career. 

Mourinho and Rodgers worked together during the former's first spell in charge at Chelsea. The latter was a youth coach with the Blues after being brought in from Reading's academy, before he went on to manage Swansea City, Liverpool and Celtic, among other teams.

Rodgers is now in charge at the King Power Stadium and is doing a fine job, with his team sat in third in the Premier League table after their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday. Reflecting on his coaching career during an interview with Sky Sports, the Northern Irishman spoke about the influence Mourinho had at Stamford Bridge:

"I think Jose made a huge impression on me when I went to Chelsea. Along my journey I've had a lot of mentors. At Reading, Alan Pardew was great for me as a young coach. Then when I went to Chelsea, Jose made a huge impact around the preparation.

"That first spell when he was there he had great charisma, but he could manage that really well between the management, the coaching side and the detail of his work.

"We were never totally aligned in terms [of] the way we'd seen the game, but we had lots of similarities. We liked to communicate well with players and people, we were both ambitious—wanted to do well—and we always wanted to ensure our work had quality. He was a big reference for me."

Rodgers was speaking ahead of his team's clash with Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday. Mourinho has been linked with the job at the Emirates Stadium, with incumbent boss Unai Emery under pressure.

Leicester will likely be favourites for that clash, given they are playing some excellent football. Stuart James of The Athletic thinks they can sustain a challenge for a top-four finish:

Stuart James @stujames75

So much to admire about Leicester under Rodgers. Full of creativity in midfield & on the flanks, that partnership between Evans & Soyuncu is outstanding, & the man up top is the best striker in the Premier League on current form. You’d have to fancy them to make the top four.

Per BBC's Match of the Day, under Rodgers the Foxes' star striker, Jamie Vardy, has been able to flourish:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Brendan Rodgers 🤝 Jamie Vardy Since Rodgers' first #PL game in charge of Leicester, Vardy has scored 19 league goals - five more than any other player. #MOTD2 https://t.co/0VRFavotdn

While Rodgers has always prided himself on the attacking and expansive football played by his sides, Mourinho has a reputation as a more pragmatic coach.

Although he's previously enjoyed great success with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, the Portuguese is currently out of work, having been sacked by Manchester United in December last year.

The Gunners have been mentioned as a possible route back into management, but James Benge of Football.London doesn't think there's much in the links:

James Benge @jamesbenge

It’s easy to laugh at Jose Mourinho desperately linking himself with a job that deep down he probably doesn’t really want but... oh wait, no, that’s it.

The Portuguese has also been linked with a move to Bayern Munich following the axing of Niko Kovac, with former Bayern and Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger saying he thinks the position would interest Mourinho.

If he was to return to the Premier League, taking the team back to the summit of the division would be a challenge for Mourinho, with Liverpool and Manchester City dominant forces, not to mention the fact Leicester are a rising force under Rodgers.