19th September 2007 witnessed one the most dramatic managerial departures that the English Premiership has ever seen in its recent past. One of the most successful, yet controversial soccer managers, Jose Mourinho was an annoyingly effective Chelsea soccer club’s manager. His brute spirit and killer attitude had transformed Chelsea’s ridiculous Abramovich-investments into actual silverware – two English Premier League titles, two Carling Cup victories and one FA Cup triumph.
Jose was a colorful chap, who said the most colorful of things in the most colorful of ways. A passionate coach who would do anything to win, Mourinho was a brilliant player manager, bringing the freakishly international and disconnected Chelsea players together. The players at Chelsea loved him, but everyone else around him just hated his guts. Other managers took great offense to Jose’s verbal attacks on everything that did not go his way. Mr Benitez of Liverpool couldn’t stand the Portuguese Mourinho, and he wasn’t afraid to show his hatred. Mourinho has had spites with almost every other egoistic manager, and watching these egos clash has been a wondrous site at times.
So why did he leave? Did he get sacked? Did he quit? Chelsea say that they reached a “mutual” consent with Mourinho on his removal. But personally, I do not think it was as simple as that. I think Chelsea sacked Jose, and Jose could do nothing else but accept it. So as smart as he is, and as smart as Chelsea try to be, according to them, a picture should speak a thousand pretty words, rather than a thousand true and ugly ones. That is the only bit I think they mutually agreed on.
Sacking someone is all about a clash of egos. The billionaire-owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich couldn’t stop poking his nose into Mourinho’s job. For instance, he forced Mourinho to spend around forty million dollars on a thirty-year old striker, Andiry Shevchenko, who he really wanted in the team because of Shevchencko’s and his common areas of descent. And amidst this entire nose poking business, Abramovich’s expectations were unbelievably high. I guess, a billionaire would think that money could buy success. Money did partially bring success to Chelsea, but not as must as Abramovich wished it would. So what did the egoistic, success-hungry billionaire do? He blamed the egoistic, success-hungry manager of not being able to convert Chelsea into the best team there is. Now when two such strong egoistic similar personalities clash, what it really calls for is a “The Bold & The Beautiful” episode on their love-hate relationship.
Personally, I feel that for a manager to be successful, the chairman should have faith and patience in what he has hired, but most importantly, the chairman should enjoy a good rapport with his manager. If he doesn’t then it is not worth maintaining a combustible relationship. So Mourinho’s departure is indeed better for the greater good of Chelsea. On the other hand, he is a great loss to the cinematic entertainment that English Premier League managers are masters at.
I hated Mourinho. He annoyed me so very much, but I always respected the fact that he was a very smart soccer manager who knew how to win, even without playing pretty soccer. Quite simply, he is a passionate untroubled maniac, who always seems to be in control of himself and of everything around him. He is like this mega, huge, strong, annoying wall that cannot be pushed around – to get rid of this wall, you need to break it down with a bulldozer. Mr Roman Abramovich is quite a bulldozer. Good luck to him with him finding a new wall.
P.S. I really felt like going back to my football (soccer) writing roots. It’s been a while…