Well, it didn’t really look in doubt, but last night Real Madrid were confirmed the new La Liga Champions as they scooped up their 32nd La Liga title. There are still two games to go, but with a 7 point lead, Barcelona conceded defeat to a Real Madrid side that has been outstanding. Ok, the Madrid team have some top quality talent within their squad, including Ronaldo, who would be the world’s best player if it wasn’t for Messi, but for a long time Real have had the talent and missed out on league titles. This season was different because of Jose Mourinho.
They may have a philosophy of buying success at Real Madrid, but it is not always a formula that has worked. Placing 11 of the world’s best players on a pitch and expecting them to win is a tactic that has proved naïve in the past. Team cohesion and dressing room unity is as much as a problem as having to manage multiple big egos. This is why if you adopt an approach of buying ‘Galácticos’ it is imperative you have a strong leader at the helm and they don’t come much stronger than Jose Mourinho.
Last night’s La Liga title means Mourinho has made history, becoming the first man to win league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and now Spain. When you consider the most successful managers football has seen this is quite an achievement, but probably just another day at the office for the ‘special one’.
Last night’s celebrations gave testament to how vital Mourinho has been at Real Madrid, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. No one would ever question Guardiola’s relationship with his Barcelona players, but the same cannot be said for Mourinho. As Jose’s players threw him aloft, mimicked Barcelona’s celebrations with Guardiola after they won the 2009 Champions League final, you cannot help feel that Mourinho is now the complete manager and one of the best ever managers in world football.
People will always criticise Mourinho – they say he should win the league with the amount of money Real Madrid have spent assembling a team, they say that he is too full of himself and even at times he has lost touch with reality with some of the things he does, but make no mistake about it, Mourinho is in full control.
Getting a team of individual stars to come together and play is a hard task. Throw in to the mix the fact that they have big personalities and even some have big egos and you have a recipe for disaster. Real Madrid have found out too many times before that solid cohesion between multiple alpha males is difficult to achieve. The manager of such a group of men has to himself be dominant. Reports of Mourinho falling out with Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas earlier in the season is normal in a group with a dynamic such as this.
At the time of the fiction between Mourinho and the squad, a lot was made of it – apparently Mourinho was going to leave at the end of the season and the squad were ready to revolt against their leader, but Mourinho knows such friction is good. Jose Mourinho is always in control, his comments to the press are well timed and have purpose in his game plan. If Mourinho’s argument with Ramos went down as reported, it was merely Mourinho stamping his authority and causing friction purposely, a friction that would be proceeded by a unity that has bonded this team together and lead them to claim the title ahead of the widely acknowledged world’s best team Barcelona. Mourinho may never have played football at a high level, but he understands people and this is one of the most valuable assets a football manager can have.
Mourinho is the master of addressing problems with players, he is confrontational, but not in a bad way and is not affected by tricky situations. Mourinho represents a new breed of managers who haven’t been successful players with long careers, but instead become successful coach or manager. Anyone can learn tactics and coaching techniques – just play Football Manager or go on an FA coaching course – the real art of success in football is psychology and creating a team that is a solid unit.
Those who say Mourinho has ‘only done it with big teams’ need to think about that statement. Big teams with big players are harder to manage, so much so that it can make the spending power of a club irrelevant. Big teams come with big pressures to succeed – look at why Pep Guardiola has decided to walk away from Barcelona. How many of Mourinho’s former clubs have achieved the same level of success as they did during his tenure?
I think now Mourinho has proven he is a complete manager. In the same way that a Brazilian player (like Neymar) needs to come to Europe to prove his true worth, maybe managers now need to do the same by managing in more than one of Europe’s top leagues. Alex Ferguson is a good at Manchester United, but could he have proved it elsewhere out of his comfort zone? We will never know.
You have to take your hat off to Mourinho, he could have had it easy at a club where he was comfortable, but he craves new challenges and you wouldn’t be surprised if he went on to success in a league like Bundesliga as well, meaning he has conquered all of Europe’s top leagues. A real challenge is what awaits him next as after Madrid the only way is down, but make no bones about it, it will be a challenge that he relishes.
Is Mourinho one of the best, if not the best, manager ever or does he still have a long way to go? We want your opinion so stick your neck out and leave it below! As well as opinion’s we want support and banter, so get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter, support The Rascal so we can support football fans everywhere.