Jose Mourinho Says Arsene Wenger Was Last of His Kind Among Managers

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 30, 2019

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) consoles Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 29, 2018. - Manchester United won the game 2-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has said former Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger was the last of his kind among coaches, suggesting the days are gone when the same tactician leads a team for decades.

The rate of managerial turnover in world football has steadily increased in recent years. Wenger withstood criticism throughout his final years at Arsenal and finally ended his 22-year reign at the club in 2018.

Sir Alex Ferguson holds the record for longest-serving Premier League manager after he served Manchester United for 27 years, while Mourinho failed to make it three years in the job at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese has never completed four seasons with one club, and he recently told reporters he felt the faster football cycle of today no longer has the patience for long-term reigns:

"Twenty years in a club? I don't think it's possible. Modern life, new technologies, social media—I think everything has an influence, even people's mentality, faster relations, getting tired easily, so many things that are changing.

"Not (just) football, but (these things) are changing the world and the perception of things that I think Wenger was the last 'man/one.' It's a bad thing for us.

"We have to adapt, and we have to try to prove that we are the man for the job. We have to fight for our job every day."

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Sportswriter Andrew Gaffney recently commented on the heightened speed of managerial turnover and said the absence of a long-term project restricts appointment options:

It's true some managers won't be attracted to certain roles unless they feel secure in their future, either through assurances given by the club or the scale of their task at hand.

Mourinho added:

"I think the times where people know the job is going to be mine for X amount of years (are gone). You have to fight for your job every day. Not just with the football results but with everything you do in the club.

"I think it's normal. It happens in society in so many areas. I can imagine even yourself in your newspaper and your radio you have to not just sleep on what you did previously.

"I think you have to show every day you have that you are the guy for the job. I think it's just life."

Wenger has been out of management since he stepped down at the Emirates Stadium last year, but sportswriter Sacha Pisani urged the Frenchman to take up the vacant role in the Bayern Munich hot seat:

The 70-year-old was appointed FIFA's chief of global football development in mid-November, so it seems unlikely he'll return to the dugout any time soon. It was reported prior to his appointment that the FIFA role wouldn't interfere with any managerial plans, though speculation has died down since he took the job.

Social media interaction and increased fan relations are sure to have also played a part in the cycle changing, with clubs able to engage supporters and groups more easily than ever. That more open channel can also have a negative effect, however, if players or fans pay too much attention to what's said online.

Unai Emery was recently sacked as Arsenal manager—less than two years into the job—shortly after Mauricio Pochettino was shown the exit at Tottenham.

Opta statistician Orbinho showed incredulity at the fact Arsenal—a team valued at $2.23 billion (£1.75 billion) in May 2019—failed to have a succession plan in place following Emery's dismissal:

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is currently the longest-serving manager in the Premier League having been at his club for a little more than seven years. Sean Dyche has coached Burnley for a similar length of time, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is third in the list after just over four years at Anfield.

Angers manager Stephane Moulin is the longest-serving boss in any of Europe's top five leagues having been at the club for more than eight years. The trend of coaches receiving more time appears to apply more to smaller clubs, but Diego Simeone has led Atletico Madrid for seven years, 11 months.

Mourinho is off to a 100-per cent start as Tottenham with two wins from two, and his side host Bournemouth on Saturday hoping to continue establishing what could be the first pieces of his legacy in north London.