Jose Mourinho: Truly a special one

Published: January 14, 2011

His critics say he doesn’t encourage beautiful football.

Jose Mourinho is popularly known as “the special one”, a self-proclaimed title that was later taken up by the British media.

People will argue about his coaching style (and they have a right to) but if there is one thing Jose Mourinho is, it is efficient.

He has moved from Porto to Chelsea to Inter Milan and now to Real Madrid. He has won the respective leagues and has also won domestic cup competitions with three of the four teams. With Inter Milan and Porto he won the UEFA champions league and it is safe to say that he rarely loses a tactical battle. His critics say he doesn’t encourage beautiful football. But Mourinho would argue that he sacrifices beautiful football for the sake of efficiency. And he has the statistics to back that claim.

His teams may not play football like Barcelona and Arsenal do but they manage to win, or should we say grind out results. He does not believe in total football but believes in an efficient and controlled game. While many coaches try to score as many goals as possible and trust their defense to concede less than they have scored, he does the opposite. He tries to prevent the other teams from scoring and trusts his attack to score a few goals. He frustrates the opposition’s attack and tries to control the midfield. And when this leads to disruption of free flowing football he is criticised, portrayed as a villain and a destroyer of football. But he is okay with that – he is a dark knight. He believes that defending is also an art, and doesn’t care less if the whole world thinks otherwise.

Yet all this does not make him special. Winning leagues, domestic cups and European cups with multiple teams is not special. It has been done before and it will be done again.

So what does make Mourhino special? I recently discovered that he has coached in four different leagues which have different qualities and tactics, but has remained unbeaten at home in the league for almost nine years. The last time he lost a league match at home was on February 23, 2002 when he was with Porto.

Now that, my friends, is special.


Shaukat Hamdani

Broadcast journalist with an interest in sports, travel, history and culture. He tweets @Shaukii

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.