You may love or hate Jose Mourinho but boy you have to respect him, as if ever there was a manager who can walk the walk then it is him. There are not many managers in the game who can go toe to toe with him; even someone like Fergie has only beaten him twice in over a dozen games between them.
The Real Madrid manager is unique in that he is able to strike that balance between being a master tactician and the perfect man-manager. While some of his counterparts seemingly offer one or other of the above and be successful in their own right, Mourinho is in a league of his own – largely down to the fact he has achieved success in the three top leagues in Europe. Should he achieve Champions League success in Madrid he will become the first ever to win the competition with three different clubs, something that certainly appears achievable given the array of talent at his disposal at the Bernabeu. Someone once told me he was a lucky manager – a throwaway comment that makes little sense.
The one trait about Mourinho that always gets banded around by critics is that the style of play isn’t easy on the eye. I would argue that it certainly isn’t as pleasing to watch in comparison to a Barcelonas or the Arsenals of this world, but at the same time we are not witnessing a Sam Allardyce or Graham Taylor philosophy either. Jose Mourinho simply plays to his strengths and I don’t think you will hear many fans in Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan or currently in Madrid complaining as the sides were continually winning trophies. Success is what football is all about, regardless of how pretty it may be.
Jose Mourinho is a born winner and perhaps the fact he has an ego to accompany it will always ensure that he will have his detractors. The football world is in the presence of greatness and (with perhaps the exception of Barcelona) I couldn’t see a club in Europe that wouldn’t welcome his as their manager if the opportunity ever arose. It is a shame that he doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves – although I can’t imagine it ever bothers him. I bet Roman Abramovich rues the day that he showed him the door from Stamford Bridge, because despite their recent successes under first Ancelotti and then Di Matteo – they really haven’t looked the same club in terms of stature and presence since.