Written by: Danny Breen – Intern, Racepoint Global London
As a Chelsea fanatic, and a former Jose Mourinho lover, I never expected to write this.
But Mourinho has a lot of questions to answer……fast. The way he handled the media after his side slumped to a 0-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, Mourinho’s worst home defeat in club management, was baffling.
Mourinho demanded for more respect before storming out of his press conference following the defeat on Monday. Rather than taking responsibility for his team's and his own failures, he instead said “I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together.” The charm that Mourinho was renowned for has worn off. Mourinho’s critical style of play, which lacks the dynamism of the Ferguson days, is a reflection of his negative persona on and off the pitch.
This is a totally different Mourinho to the one who arrived at Chelsea in the 04/05 season. The media were instantly drawn to him because of his confidence, showmanship and charisma - reflected in his first press conference, where he famously described himself as “the special one.” His slick character, cheeky smile and newsworthy quotes meant he had the media in the palm of his hand. Mourinho had numerous rivals over the years, including Arsene Wenger. The rivalry with the Arsenal manager came to boiling point when he described him as a “specialist in failure” and a “voyeur”. Comments that demonstrated Mourinho’s makeup as a manager. Not only had his teams shot down Arsenal on the pitch over the years, he humiliated the Gunners boss with a war of words before going on to win the Premier League the following season by eight points.
Wenger was often criticised for being behind the times, a trap Mourinho could fall into now. His charming, intriguing and memorable persona of years gone by is an example of how powerful an asset great communication skills are for a manager. At his best, he was capable of dominating the media agenda with exactly the messages he wanted to get out - regardless of results on the pitch (though the fact these were normally excellent no doubt helped).
The special one seems to have lost that skill somewhere along the way. As a Chelsea fan and a former Mourinho lover – I hope he finds it again.