Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful and respected football managers in the world. He is one of the few managers to have won a title for every club he has managed. Every football fan remembers how he introduced himself to the world after he was appointed as Chelsea manager in 2004–after winning the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto–he called himself ‘The Special One’. After suffering 3 defeats in succession as Manchester United manager, something that he has not experienced since 2002, the question remains whether he’s special or losing his touch just a bit.
When the Portuguese was re-appointed for a second stint as Chelsea manager in 2013, he described himself as ‘The Happy One’. He was returning home, where he wanted to be, at a club where he had won 2 league titles before he departed for Italy to manage Inter Milan. In his 2nd season upon returning to west London, he handsomely guided The Blues to their first league title in 5 years. Last season, however, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager experienced what was arguably the worst period of his managerial career. From not being able to get the players he wanted, to fighting with his medical stuff and accusing officials of being afraid to give Chelsea decisions and accusing his players of betraying him, all that subsequently led to Mourinho being sacked yet again by Chelsea billionaire-owner Roman Abramovich.
Manchester United announced the appointment of the two-time UEFA Champions League winning coach in June. Mourinho did not hide the fact that he still wanted to manage a Premier League side, but at the moment it seems as though the woes from last season are still following him. Despite spending £150m in the transfer window and breaking the world record to land Paul Pogba, who returned to the club after 4 years with Juventus, it seems it’s not enough to get the Red Devils firing in all cylinders. The 20-time league winners are already 6 points adrift of current leaders and city rivals, Manchester City.
It goes without saying that Jose is not used to losing 2 league games in a row and when he does, it becomes a headline. Jose is under pressure again. Ed Woodward has done his part by getting Jose all the players that were on his wish list. Now he needs to deliver.
We have seen in the past football managers taking holidays to recharge their batteries, which is something Mourinho only gets during the off-season. Pep Guardiola took a sabbatical after leaving Barcelona. After all that transpired last season at Chelsea, a sabbatical could have been perfect for Jose to recharge his batteries. Surely, it would have been easy to get a club again after a year because of the fantastic manager that he is. Now, at the helm of a club with rich history and success, he is tasked with the assignment of guiding Manchester United back to the top. Maybe a break is all he needed.