Many voices tend to believe that Jose Mourinho’s effect over a team evolves over the course of three years. It seems to be clear that he has this process that can be observed everywhere he went in Europe so far.
Everything begins with the construction of a team that he thinks will have all the qualities needed to reach the goal at hand. This team is usually constructed with a high financial effort on the club’s part, in case he doesn’t already think he has all he needs already in the lineup. But that rarely happens to anyone that looks back to the teams he coached and will notice that he made at least one or two big transfers. At Manchester United, his big move was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player he wanted very badly. So bad that he even threatened he will leave the team if the transfer isn’t perfected.
After phase one is complete and he feels the team is up to his standards and every aspect of his tactical plans are complete, the second phase is ready to begin. This is the most satisfying of them all as it’s the time when Mourinho wins trophies, cups, titles both internally and in Europe. His year of glory is the period when club executives are really content with their choice and everything is milk and honey both for the Special One and the clubs he is coaching. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really last and just as time cannot be stopped, the sliding towards phase 3 is inevitable. It’s so predictable that it can be added in a top of the football betting odds comparison.
No need for any extra explanation on this one. This is the moment when everything goes sour and things start to work for Mourinho. And even though there are a lot of commentators seem to believe he is doing it on purpose because he gets bored, nobody wants to let go of success. No matter what it is, it’s clearly something weird because the team is the same, the tactics are the same and there’s no logical explanation why a system that worked perfectly in the previous season winning titles, refuses to work at the same parameters the second season. There are some other voices that believe the trick is the way Mourinho handles the locker room but there’s no point in going further into that.
So, these are the general phases of his progress with a new team. The big question is, will things be the same at Manchester United? Are we headed to an inevitable split between the Special one and the Red Devils? Let’s take a look at how things went so far:
He joined the team in 2016 and immediately started phase one of this three-year plan. And if we are talking about building a great team, Mourinho really outdid himself at United. With names like Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Zlatan Ibrahimovic it’s impossible for silverware not to come. And even though this is something more specific for the second stage, the first years were quite successful as well. Mourinho ended his first season with three trophies.
In the current season, what would be the second stage for Mourinho’s usual progress, things are pretty much following the pattern. Manchester is high on the tide, at the top of Premier League, already qualified for the knockout phase of Champions League and looking very good. But will the history repeat itself or will Mourinho break the pattern this time and manage to go for the fourth year at Manchester? Well, the sceptics might already have evidence that the third step might be already on the way. Just recently, in an interview for a French media outlet, Mourinho admitted that he is still a coach that is worried, has ambitions and desire to achieve new things. And if this might just sound like something any manager would say to please the media, by adding the fact that he’s sure that his career will not end at Manchester, kindly takes away all the mystery.
And the thing that he is quickly entering the third years of his three-stage pattern might not be the only reason he wants to leave Manchester. Apparently, vice chairman of the club, Ed Woodward let Mourinho down by postponing the renewal of his contract.