Has Jose Mourinho ever come back from the brink?
Daniel Anwar | 29 August 2018
The Manchester United boss is under fire
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho finds himself under real pressure after a dismal start to the season.
His team narrowly beat Leicester City in the campaign curtain-raiser, but that was followed by a humbling defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Things took another turn for the worse after Monday’s 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs hadn’t even scored a league goal at Old Trafford since January 2014 prior to kick-off.
Mourinho is now the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave at Evens.
He’s come under fire before, but has he ever managed to turn the tide? The Coral News Team have taken a look at his previous tough spells…
Bar a very brief spell at Benfica in his first managerial role, Mourinho had only really known success until his third season at Chelsea.
The Blues stormed to their first title in 50 years during his first season in England. The West London club defended the title in his second year, but signs of discontent started to emerge during the third season.
The arrival of Andriy Shevchenko caused friction between the manager and club owner Roman Abramovich. Avram Grant was also installed as director of football against Mourinho’s wishes.
Chelsea still won the FA Cup during the 2006-07 campaign, but Mourinho’s relationship with the squad started to deteriorate. His tactic of provoking “positive conflict” with his players no longer had the impact it once did.
He lasted until the start of the next season but didn’t manage to turn things around. He left in September 2007 following a 1-1 draw at home with Rosenborg.
Real Madrid (2010-2013)
After leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble, Real Madrid brought in Mourinho to help them chase down Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team, who many consider the greatest club side of all time.
Madrid did end Barcelona’s run of three consecutive La Liga titles in his second year at the club, but his approach ultimately cost him the support of the dressing room during his third season.
The Portuguese manager waged a relentless onslaught on his rivals through the media, which spilled over onto the pitch when he poked the late Barca assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye.
His uneasy relationships with Madrid icons Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos meant that it was always going to be very difficult for him to stay at the club long-term. He ultimately left after three years, having won one league title and the Copa del Rey.
Mourinho endured another third-season meltdown after his return to Chelsea. His side had won the league with three games to spare in his second year back at Stamford Bridge, but the first game of their title defence saw him heavily criticise club doctor Eva Carneiro for treating Eden Hazard on the pitch.
Things only went downhill from there. The Blues lost nine of their opening 16 league games as he scrambled for a formula to fix the team’s on-field problems. He was sacked in December 2015 with the club down in 16th place.
It was the third time that his failure to arrest a slide in his third season cost him his job. That could prove ominous as the third year of his Manchester United tenure unfolds.
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