Mourinho Sacked, Is the Third Season Curse a Truth?
So here we are again, the ‘Special One.’ has succumbed to the third Season blues again by AtTheMatch
Throughout Mourinho’s career the first two years usually wield success in the form of a trophy or two, so why does he struggle to get his teams to maintain their performance levels beyond the second Season.
Let’s look back.Last season with Chelsea, they won the Premier League at a canter;it was never in doubt, the team were flying, and at one point it even appeared they may join Arsenal & Nottingham Forest in completing a season undefeated.
If we go back to Mourinho’s first ‘Big’ club, Porto in 2002.In his first full season as manager he won the Portuguese League, by 11 points;in the process setting a points record for the champions in that division since the three points per win rule was introduced. He also won the Taca de Portugal, and the UEFA Cup. He managed to follow this up with even more silverware the following season.The Portuguese Super Cup, another Championship trophy, and then finally the crown jewel, the UEFA Champions League.
This success won Mourinho a job in one of Europe’s top four Leagues, The English Premier League, with Chelsea FC. Again, he brought instant success, winning the League Cup, and bringing Chelsea’s first league title to Stamford Bridge in 50 years. Again, in Mourinho’s second season with Chelsea more silverware followed, the Charity Shield and another Premier League title.
Whilst Mourinho’s third season at Chelsea did bring silverware - the League and FA Cup - tensions were building and cracks started appearing in the relationships between Mourinho and the Chelsea hierarchy. Within a couple of months of the fourth season, Chelsea and Mourinho parted ways, following Mourinho’sinability to deliver a Champions League title for Chelsea.
The 2008/09 season arrived, and Mourinho was back in football, this time in Italy, with Inter Milan. Once again, success wasn’t far away, and in his first season Mourinho secured both the SupercoppaItaliana, as wellas the Serie A title, the Scudetto. Despite winning it by a 10 point margin, this season wasn’t viewed as a success by many fans, as they failed to improve on performances by his predecessor Roberto Mancini. Inter also lost in the Semi Finals of the Coppa Italia and wereeliminatedfrom the UEFA Champions League by Manchester United in the first knockout stages.
Throughout his first campaign in Italy, Mourinho had a difficult relationship with the Press and opposition managers, which continued into his second season.Relations didn’t improve, and the Italian FA were soon added to those Mourinho criticised during his tenure.
This being said however, Inter did go on to again deliver more titles: the Coppa Italia, another Scudetto and Mourinho’s second UEFA Champions League title; a fantastic ‘treble’ for Inter. Soon after this victory Mourinho left for Real Madrid.
The first season at Real Madrid held a few highs, and a couple of records broken. 15 consecutive wins equalled a club record set in 1961; andMourinho also won the Copa Del Rey, beating Barcelona in the final - Real’s first Copa Del Rey victory for 18 years. However, Barcelona did go on to knock Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League at the semi-final stage.
In 2012/13 Real Madrid again fell at the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League, this time on penalties to Bayern Munich. Despite this, Mourinho’s side went on to lift the La Liga title, again setting new records in the process: Most Games Won (32), Most Away Wins (16), Most Goals Scored (121). They finished 9 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
We again reach a third season with Mourinho. Real offered a new four year contract, taking Mourinho to 2016. He then went on to win the 2012 Supercopa de Espana. Throughout this season Mourinho was again confrontational with the opposition, the powers of football in Spain, as well as his own players, causing some fans to side with their heroes rather than the manager. Mourinho left by ‘mutual consent’ at the end of the season following defeat in the Copa Del Rey final by Atletico Madrid.
This now brings us full circle to his return to Chelsea andto another Premier League title, but not a third elusive UEFA Champions League win for Mourinho,nor a third trophy filled season for Chelsea and their fans.
What are the reasons for Mourinho’s failure to build a long-lasting dynasty?Could it be the high pressure football and the continuous work rate he instils in players?Is this method setting him up for a fall as the physical demands are too great to sustain without continuous improvements to the squads at large costs each year?Could it be his apparent need for confrontation?Does he have a self-destruct button he can’t help but press?
Have Chelsea been foolish to dismiss their most successful manager ever? What next for the ‘Special One’? Or will clubs now just see Jose as a guarantee of short term success?Click here to stay up to date with AtTheMatch