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Has Jose lost the plot?

pavlosmacwolf

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I am intrigued following Mourinho at Man U so far.
It seems to me his blow out season at Chelsea was not a one off, but a sign that the special one has virtually lost the plot.

He has made some decisions and offered some reactions that frankly, don't make any sense, when comparing him to the raging success he has been in the past.

His current outburst, particularly at Shaw, who suffered a horrendous injury is nothing short of baffling.

Does anyone else feel he might not last the season at Old Trafford, if i was a betting man i would certainly risk a few quid.

Not trying to cause a stir, or have a rant, I like the guy, but as i said in my opening sentence, I am intrigued by his actions so far this season.
 
In short, yes. I find this a fascinating topic!

Even when they won yesterday he couldn't resist the chance to swipe at players. This is totally at odds with everything that made him a fantastic manager. He would die for his players and in turn they would for him!

https://medium.com/@shaunjlawson/de...ed-to-the-special-one-fcbc9deecaa7#.6zn04nvn3

I think I have posted this before (it's a really long article) but I think is spot on. As is this one by Jonathan Wilson: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/dec/22/devil-and-jose-mourinho?CMP=fb_gu
 
Interesting that Shaw said the players were expecting full hands on management and find him distant.
 
I actually agree with YW, i think Jose has lost the plot and that's because he has abandoned all his principles in the last 2 years and once you do that you are struggling. It all seemed to start when Chelsea didn't really back him in the transfer window at the start of last season and then you had the incident with the doctor. He started then to throw his players under the bus and has continued to do that at Utd.
 
Even when they won yesterday he couldn't resist the chance to swipe at players. This is totally at odds with everything that made him a fantastic manager. He would die for his players and in turn they would for him!

Shearer made a decent point on MOTD2, first time around at Chelsea he had a spine of Cech, Terry, Makelele, Lampard, Essien and Drogba, you'd happily go to war (in a footballing sense!) with all of them. I don't think you can apply that to the players he has now.

I do wonder if football has started to evolve past him and his methods over the last 3-4 years, you look at the inventive ways Klopp, Conte and Pep have their teams playing just in our league, Jose is still pretty much playing the same stuff he was in 2004. No-one can stand still forever, Fergie certainly didn't, all of his great United teams (let's say 1994, 1999 and 2008) were very different.
 
You're right YW, it is a long article, but a fascinating insight and well written, my food is ready so i have bookmarked it to finish later, am just reaching Real at the moment.
 
Shearer made a decent point on MOTD2, first time around at Chelsea he had a spine of Cech, Terry, Makelele, Lampard, Essien and Drogba, you'd happily go to war (in a footballing sense!) with all of them. I don't think you can apply that to the players he has now.

That's the key bit for me. IMHO Mourinho's best quality was in getting players to do things they wouldn't normally do (Eto'o at RWB) or work way above their disposition (Sneijder, di Maria). I think there's been a paradigm shift in the mentality of footballers and they can't deal with the pressure that Mourinho uses to try to coax out results, or in the case of many of Chelsea's current players, can only deal with it for a short time.

Let's be honest here, setting up a team to park the bus and counter at pace isn't exactly tactical genius.
 
Let's be honest here, setting up a team to park the bus and counter at pace isn't exactly tactical genius.

Thing is, if it was that easy everyone would do it. Jose has (and still does to a certain extent) worked to the finest details to make teams defend so well. For a team to have that much concentration is a testament to what he could get out of teams. But as Dan said, he's been left behind and has failed to evolve.
 
Thing is, if it was that easy everyone would do it. Jose has (and still does to a certain extent) worked to the finest details to make teams defend so well. For a team to have that much concentration is a testament to what he could get out of teams. But as Dan said, he's been left behind and has failed to evolve.

I don't attribute that to tactical acumen, though, more to what was once an extremely effective form of man-management.
 
His early Chelsea teams most certainly didn't park the bus.

Where he's principally struggled to adapt as football has moved on over the last decade is a) elite teams don't just send out central midfields that are primarily destructive forces these days and b) there's no chance any of his teams will ever have full backs pushed on like Barca/Bayern/Real (for example) have done of late. He's neither gone along with those trends nor found a way to combat those challenges.
 
He seems to have got more and more defensive as time has worn on, it's almost like he's got a bit of a complex around playing more expansive football now and just demands defensive discipline from every play first and foremost.

His early Chelsea side were pretty well balanced, usually a big man up top, proper attacking players wide, often only one holding midfielder with the likes of Lampard/Deco/Ballack or whoever not doing a great deal defensively but then had a really good back four to provide a solid platform for those other players to go and express themselves. When he went to Inter he seemed to shift more towards the two holding players, at least in the big games from what I saw, but that again that was more to facilitate the attacking players ahead of them rather than just completely close a game down, Milito/Pandev/Sneijder/Eto'o or whoever were allowed to pretty much ignore any defensive work so they could take advantage on the break.

When he came back to Chelsea it was all very, very defensive after opening the season with a few goals galore games early on, their games from January onwards in their last title winning season were horrific, just ruining games as a spectacle knowing that Fabregas would carve something out for Costa at some point and that lad just wasn't missing anything that year. I think putting your team in such a rigid game plan is always going to put a strain on certain types on players, Fabregas for example has never been one to completely ignore his defensive duties but he's always been something of a free spirit, Hazard certainly isn't someone who's going to 'do a job' for the team at any point and those fractures soon started to appear.

I suppose when he had this all conquering reputation people were keen to work with him because it pretty much guaranteed getting your hands on a few trophies but then after experiencing that way of playing it probably wasn't massively enjoyable so the novetly probably wears off with some people and they get to a stage of just wanting to enjoy themselves again, just look at the difference in Hazard now he's got some freedom again! Mourniho seems to have become more and more bitter since his time at Real too, he was always a bit of a mentalist but it was mixed in with more light hearted stuff too, now he just looks like he hates everything all the time, completely joyless. That can't make for an enjoyable working environment. I imagine someone like Pep is probably a bit overbearing at times, his tactics again seem very rigid in terms of positioning and such but at least his stuff is geared towards creating chances not obstructing them and there seems to be plenty of evidence of players developing individually under his stewardship too.

If I were a player I think I'd much rather be playing for a manager like Klopp, Pochettino or Conte than Mourinho, it just looks like it'd be a far more enjoyable experience, their teams play with so much more freedom, I can't make my mind up on working for Pep, I imagine it'd be a great experience for developing your game but one that would come with a lot of tedious times learning the intricacies of his system and such.
 
Agree with much of that Mark, I'd put a caveat against Klopp and his freedom though. Sturridge can't get in the team at the moment principally because he can't/won't do what Firmino does defensively and in terms of pressing from the front (in fact I think Coutinho is the only one who pretty much gets a free pass in that team). It's a form of tactical rigidity in itself, although not in the stifling sense with which you'd normally associate the term.

Jose is definitely a different personality now, he's wanted the United job for over a decade but he doesn't seem to be enjoying it at all. To be making minimal or poor use of Rashford, Martial and Mkhitaryan is very strange.
 
Agree with much of that Mark, I'd put a caveat against Klopp and his freedom though. Sturridge can't get in the team at the moment principally because he can't/won't do what Firmino does defensively and in terms of pressing from the front (in fact I think Coutinho is the only one who pretty much gets a free pass in that team). It's a form of tactical rigidity in itself, although not in the stifling sense with which you'd normally associate the term.

Jose is definitely a different personality now, he's wanted the United job for over a decade but he doesn't seem to be enjoying it at all. To be making minimal or poor use of Rashford, Martial and Mkhitaryan is very strange.

I can see where you're coming from with Klopp with the workrate but I wouldn't really consider than a burden as a player, it's not even as if his pressing approach is particularly complicated or thoughtful just pure batshit mental running in numbers to panic the opponents out of possession. It's probably an easier thing to get attacking players to buy into than asking them to sacrifice their attacking thoughts and be more disciplined positionally so as not to disrupt Jose's masterplan. I watched a video on Sky Sports the other week of Klopp on MNF where he pretty much said he didn't give a toss where people went when they had possession as long as someone stayed in front of the centre halves for a bit of protection, either a midfielder or one of the fullbacks tucked in. It's got to be enjoyable to be given that level of freedom to express yourself as long as you do a bit of running, especially if you're someone like Lallana or Firmino who thrive on that sort of fluid positional play and already have that natural desire to put the yards in as well, they're getting the freedom without even going above and beyond their usual workrate.

Some of Jose's choices at United have been very strange, the continued use of Fellaini early on in particular, Pep's no stranger to these strange choices when you get the sense he's just trying to prove how clever he is, that he's seen something in a player that no-one else has ever considered before but when Jose makes a big call with leaving a player out it usually just looks like he's trying to stamp his authority and perhaps bully them or the press/fans into listening. I really can't understand what's going on with Mkhitaryan in particular, looked to have finally found some consistency at Dortmund last year but barely had a kick at United, he's peddled this excuse of him not being up to speed with the English game but why not play him in Europe everytime to keep him interested and give him plenty of opportunity off the bench to get a feel for things? You'd think a busy player like him playing off the forward and the pace of Martial/Rashford wide would be perfect to create space for an ageing Ibrahimovic but he's just not going for it.
 
Mourinho just doesn't seem to be enjoying things. When he first went to Chelsea he was a breath of fresh air. Witty, engaging with the press, generally having fun. Second time round at Chelsea he seemed more serious, but won the league still. By the time he left he seemed extremely temperamental and stroppy. He now just comes across as bitter and angry, not sure at what but definitely something.

Mourinho was a strange appointment by Man Utd for me. He has always had a shelf life at clubs - around 3 years. Job has always been similar - Takeover, early success, win a couple of trophies, struggle in 3rd year and leave. United needed and still needs a massive change, the squad is nowhere near good enough to be challenging at the top of the table and will take a while to sort out, this is something Mourinho has never done.
 
I don't attribute that to tactical acumen, though, more to what was once an extremely effective form of man-management.

Having a squad of very good players has certainly helped. During his first spell at Chelsea they spent far more than other teams. Man Utd were paying money out to the Glazers, Man City were not on the scene, Liverpool were in the middle of their barren spell and Arsenal were basically Arsenal, trying to do it on the cheap. Given this the only real surprise was Chelsea didn’t walk the league every season.

Looking at him now I suspect he is suffering clinical depression. The sparkle has gone and what is left is a boorish manager who is similar to many others who cannot replicate previous successes.
 
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