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Interesting article from Marcotti


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Out of sight, out of mind? Hardly. José Mourinho may have retired to his Portuguese hideaway last September, but his presence still hovers over the game.

Just ask Avram Grant, his successor at Chelsea who is constantly (and unfavorably) compared to the "Special One." You'd think the fact that Chelsea is still in the running for a Premier League/Champions League double might take some of the pressure off the Israeli boss and maybe even make you wonder whether there really is an abyss between Grant and Mourinho in terms of managerial ability.

But no: One guy is a genius, the other is Forrest Gump's less likeable brother, the one who raids Johnny Cash's wardrobe.

Anyway, Mourinho was never going to stay out of the headlines, not least because he's angling for his next job. His résumé is frighteningly good: four league titles (though one of them, the one he won with FC Porto in 2003-04, may yet be stripped), four domestic cups, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League title in six full seasons of management amount to, on paper, a ticket to anywhere he wants to go.

Except the game doesn't quite work like that. Mourinho's agent and his close advisors have been shopping him around for the past six months, linking him with a variety of jobs: England, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and, most recently, Inter Milan.

Some of those links are pure agentspeak (i.e. they're made up) -- Milan and Bayern come to mind. Other ships have sailed (England). But the fact remains that Mourinho's stature inevitably places him at or near the top of any club's shopping list.

So where will he go? Maybe it's easier to rule out where he won't go. For starters, he needs a big club with lots of transfer clout or a really prestigious national team (otherwise, why bother?). With the England job off the table, you can rule out international management. England is the only top-tier nation that would hire a foreign coach and pay him top dollar (which is, ultimately what it did).

Manchester United and Arsenal aren't options either. Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger aren't going anywhere. With Jürgen Klinsmann taking over at Bayern next season, that rules out the German club as well. Liverpool could conceivably be a possibility if Rafa Benítez leaves, but it's unlikely that anything will happen until the club's ownership situation sorts itself out and that won't happen for some time.

Juventus would be an intriguing choice. However, Claudio Ranieri is doing very well in the Bianconeri's first season back in the big time and it would be cruel if he were to lose his job to Mourinho twice in four years. Plus, the club still hasn't fully recovered from the trauma of the '06 Calciopoli scandal.

Mourinho's crew was pushing Milan as a possible destination. While it's true that the club needs a major rebuilding job, it's equally true that Carlo Ancelotti remains popular among players and club officials. Plus, if one of Mourinho's problems at Chelsea was that he got too much interference from above and that the owner was bored by his style of play, Milan is the wrong place for him.

The club is obsessed with entertaining soccer and being Milan manager means constantly mediating between the players and the many "suggestions" coming from the club (primarily in the form of Adriano Galliani and the ebullient owner, Silvio Berlusconi).

Real Madrid looks like a no-go for similar reasons, assuming Bernd Schuster is "let go" in the summer. If Fabio Capello was "too defensive" in winning La Liga, Mourinho's style isn't exactly Brazil '70 either. The same could be said for FC Barcelona, where the smart money is on Frank Rijkaard opting to take time off at the end of the season. Mourinho has a history both at Barça and with Barça (who can forget his virulent run-ins with his counterparts in his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge?). This looks like a long shot.

Strike Roma (no money), Valencia (just getting used to this Ronald Koeman thing) and Lyon (Mourinho at the Stade Gerland in Le Championnat is a bit like Tiger Woods joining the Senior Tour) off the list and you're left with two options.

The first is Inter, the most credible and accredited destination. Roberto Mancini is likely to move on, regardless of whether he wins his third straight title or not. The club would give Mourinho a blank checkbook and total control (at least at first).

Inter puts substance over style. And Mourinho loves a challenge. He's taken the powerhouse from a small country and won the Champions League. He's taken the nouveau riche club with little history and won the Premier League (twice). Now, for the first time, he'd be taking arguably the biggest underachiever in world soccer and turning it into a European power.

Stay tuned. But if that doesn't work out, there's always the other option: a return to Chelsea. Crazy? Probably, although Mourinho claimed recently that he still talks to chief executive Peter Kenyon and owner Roman Abramovich on a regular basis (given that the Russian billionaire speaks neither Spanish, Portuguese nor English and that Mourinho -- to my knowledge -- doesn't speak Russian, it's a mystery how they communicate, but still).

It would only happen if Abramovich cleared out his army of assistants, coaches, advisors and executives (including Kenyon), but it would give him the kind of instant popularity among Chelsea fans he lost when Mourinho was sent packing.

Stranger things have happened. Though if you're a betting man, bet on him showing up at the San Siro.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writ...inho/index.html

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You know, regarding the Jose back to Chelsea thing, I just can't get something out of my mind. In the second or third day after Jose left "by mutual consent", I kept thinking about a scenario, crazy as it may sound, and this is based on the clash of two egos:

After the draw against Rosenborg in the Champions League, Roman catches Jose somewhere in the back corridors and snorts out, "...nicely done. Great game. We played so well...", to which Jose replies,"...if you think you can find someone to do as well as me, go ahead, I'd gladly step aside...". Feeling that he is being challenged, Roman snaps back, "...anybody can take over at Chelsea and do well with my financial backing...". Jose says, "...if you think so, prove it. I quit...".

So the conversation goes something along these lines and the two men with egos the size of mountains decide to go with the bet. Roman brings in a man most likely to go along with something so ridiculous, as he has nothing to lose himself. Jose decides to stay on the sidelines and wait and see, not ruling out coming back to manage Chelsea when they fall flat on their faces and win nothing this season, Roman having to admit to his mistake.

On some level, it sounds absurd. With the egos of these two men, I somehow don't discount it completely. Maybe...I just can't let go...

Cheers,

Butch

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Nice article, I don't think Jose can come back, the same problems would be there.

If the inside source is correct then Jose was shown the door because it had become his club and not Roman's.

Well that would start up again but even worse with what we have gone through with Grant.

I think he will find himself a new job this summer I hope with Barca or Inter.

He deserves it as he is a damn fine coach and it was criminal if we let him go for no real reason other than the ego of the owner couldn't fundamentally take being second best to the manager in the fans affections.

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You know, regarding the Jose back to Chelsea thing, I just can't get something out of my mind. In the second or third day after Jose left "by mutual consent", I kept thinking about a scenario, crazy as it may sound, and this is based on the clash of two egos:

After the draw against Rosenborg in the Champions League, Roman catches Jose somewhere in the back corridors and snorts out, "...nicely done. Great game. We played so well...", to which Jose replies,"...if you think you can find someone to do as well as me, go ahead, I'd gladly step aside...". Feeling that he is being challenged, Roman snaps back, "...anybody can take over at Chelsea and do well with my financial backing...". Jose says, "...if you think so, prove it. I quit...".

So the conversation goes something along these lines and the two men with egos the size of mountains decide to go with the bet. Roman brings in a man most likely to go along with something so ridiculous, as he has nothing to lose himself. Jose decides to stay on the sidelines and wait and see, not ruling out coming back to manage Chelsea when they fall flat on their faces and win nothing this season, Roman having to admit to his mistake.

On some level, it sounds absurd. With the egos of these two men, I somehow don't discount it completely. Maybe...I just can't let go...

Cheers,

Butch

I think those toxic fumes in the Bangkok atmosphere is finally going to your head icon_wink.gif

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