December 16th, 2009
01:48 PM ET

Moody Mourinho needs makeover

Jose Mourinho is a fantastic coach. There is little doubt about it. His record speaks for itself and his ability to get the most out of players is unquestionable.

Mourinho's belligerent attitude could prove self-defeating in the long term.
Mourinho's belligerent attitude could prove self-defeating in the long term.

However, his apparent need to upset opposing coaches, players and members of the media is damaging his image and could one day be the source of his undoing.

The latest episode involving an alleged insult or assault on an Italian journalist is just the latest in an ongoing saga of self-inflicted blows. There is rarely a week where he does not have something negative to say about someone, a point proved when his recent criticism of a referee decision resulted in him being sent off. But when confronted by questions from the media about his behavior, Jose invariably snaps back in an aggressive tone rather than considering what he has done.

Here in England he was revered and respected. He was one of the few managers whose ego was larger than his team, and sometimes even larger than life. The media couldn't get enough of him.

In Italy it has been a different story. The journalists there are used to big personalities and have not been so entertained with Jose's need to grab all the attention. They have started showing their displeasure for his attitude and demeanor, and he has not relented.

If I were Jose I would re-evaluate my behavior. I would count on my advisers to help me rebuild my image. Someone would have to tell me that you can be successful and reasonable and that the siege mentality he creates is not always necessary.

However, I am afraid this might not happen anytime soon, and I justify my opinion by telling you the following story:

Back in 2005, I once voted for Fabio Capello instead of Jose Mourinho on a World Soccer Magazine poll of best managers of the Champions League. Word got out and I immediately received a text from one of his representatives saying that Jose would never speak with me again. Following that initial reaction, I justified my vote and repeatedly tried to interview Jose, but to no avail. For some reason, Jose and his advisers thought that I should have compromised my journalistic integrity and voted for him just because I was Portuguese. This episode made me sad then and makes me sad now because we had a great relationship before it happened.

I still hope that one day we will get a chance to talk about this, maybe even laugh about it. Perhaps he will prove me wrong and show all of us a different side to his personality. I sincerely hope his belligerent nature does not destroy his career; it would be a waste.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. ben

    Mhh i dont know if he can change his behavior but why we need to wait for this? Hes like Jens Lehmann selfish and narcissistic. They never learned to take a step back or miss criticism. but they are dinosaurs more then 80% of rookies in the bundesliga are from football boarding school of the big clubs or "DFB Leistungszentren". There is character development a big deal. The disadvantage is boredom for the yellow press just more slick professionals.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  2. julian

    if he was a nobody coach ,no one would care a about his personalty but even i dont like him ,but he is a great coach ,and thats what is important for the club and fans

    December 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  3. Ana

    I am also portuguese and I couldn't agree with you more. Although we recognise he is one of the best, he is also a worst in what comes to personality and what he thinks of himselpf. What a shame.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  4. Sonam Gyamtsho

    He had done a fantastic job at Chealsea and continues to do so in Italy. He is a successful coach no doubt but may have to learn how to deal with the media. Media persons also at times consider to take it easy.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  5. Ivan B.

    I don´t like Mourinho. He is too arrogant, but it is the obscene amount of money he is being paid which makes him what he is now.
    This applies to the players as well. They are the big prima donas of this theatre, it makes me sick to watch about them all.
    40 years ago the players played for the honour of each club, some of them ending up near broke, but look at these prima donas now !!!
    Can somebody explain to me why the Italian people bother to attend and pay the tickets of these matches ?

    December 16, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  6. jake nagan

    there is no doubt jose mourinho is a talkertive attacker, but one must understand the country in which he is.we live in a country where a prominent politician publicily says that italians are xenophobic but not racist,but they are both.respect for migrants are zero.for foreigners living outside their borders respect is 35 i believe jose will leave before his term expires..thxxxxxx

    December 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  7. Shadrack

    I luv mourinho,i luv his prowess,his maneuverability...his being arrogant is part of the game and it spices it up hereby making the game an interactive and inquisite. I don't love other coaches because they don't say what they have in their mind and it is disgusting,there are just like deaf and i wished he could coach Nigeria national team..

    December 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  8. Shadrack

    Mourinho in africa...will be a great experience.

    December 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  9. Giuliano45

    Personally I doubt that Mourinho is such "fantastic" coach :he has quite amazing personality ,he has been always in the "spotlight" but any good coach could have been as well successful with the same teams (and big money involved).

    Football(or soccer) is no longer a "sport"but just a "show" and,in this respect Mourinho is....really fantastic.
    His arrogance,rude manners,narcisims nad behavior can get the attention of the media almost everyday so....good for the show and the business.

    December 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  10. BaffaMustapha

    Its a brave and great thing you've wrote about the so called 'special one'.i totally agree with you.we understand his personality but you've gota say,his trying to cross the a respected and honorable manager he has to behave well be changing his bad attitude for good,before its too late.
    On the other hand,i think he's certainly amongst the people who made the English Premier League what it is today.Firstly,He kept managers like Sir.Alex on their toes,thereby drawing more attention by the media,fans,...making the League more competitive and exciting than what it was before he came to England.
    I have much to say...but obviously he has to change,the italians are RED-HEARTED and may take action on any flimsy behavior,as the British FA or media.
    GOOD LUCK with the interview Pedro.

    December 17, 2009 at 11:03 am | Reply
  11. Pedro

    From another Pedro to Pedro,
    I'm from Mourinho's hometown and also wish you good luck for that interview!

    Giuliano: I agree that any good coach can have success with good players and money, although there are several exceptions in my view.

    As for Mourinho, he showed his talent back here in Portugal with weaker teams and no money. He had spent a lot of time with two great coaches: Bobby Robson and Van Gaal. Besides, when he was growing up he used to help his father (who was a nice coach too) and played football himself.

    With that 5 star experience and a brilliant mind, he was able to pick up good players, even without much money, and build good teams. I believe he does have a great talent.

    As for the rest... Pedro already explained a lot in his post. I just hope Mourinho keeps in mind Bobby Robson's open letter to him some years ago, when success came around, along with Mourinho's public conflicts.

    And don't forget that on the other side of the coin there are journalists and coaches who also like a nice fight with him.


    December 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  12. Akeel

    I think Jose is clear person , does not hide any emotion,what is in his mind is fluent on his tongue, beside he is agreat coach

    December 17, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  13. Jim Bryon

    Mourinho the marketeiro. A "good" manager certainly, but with the talent he had to work with, not such a difficult task.

    His ego is much bigger than his football coaching capacity and he will always make sure he is front and center and the players, team and club always in second place.

    December 18, 2009 at 12:42 am | Reply
  14. Billa

    Giuliano45 believes that football is just a show. It is only a show in that it entertains. A show is just a fake – there is nothing fake about soccer players, they are athletes and even tougher than a boxer – I guess some boxing is just a show. Anyone who has played soccer at any level knows that soccer takes skills, endurance, and no fakery! The total interaction is a show same as the old gladiatiors of Rome were showmen to the multitudes – soccer is and always will be "The beautyfull game!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 am | Reply
  15. fola

    All this media holla because He is still .................the Special one.

    December 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  16. johnny franco arboine

    Mr. Mourinho maybe a moody and out of control coach but a extremely very good and effective coach. Given the type of megalomaniac players, whimsy football directors of today and the aggressive press, who would want to be behave a like a lame duck or meek footer. Mr. Mourinho did become a great manager by sucking his thumps. The press should treat him by due respect owed to him.

    December 19, 2009 at 9:00 am | Reply
  17. Azunna

    The truth is that Jose is a great coach. With his status comes a lot of attention and envy, when he coughs, its news. This has made everything about him to be blown out of proportion by the press.The press struggle to interview him or hear what he has to say to attract attention. Jose adds colour to the game of football, all the other issues are jealousy, envy and the press; quarreling with style.

    December 20, 2009 at 2:29 am | Reply
  18. Billa

    It takes a bigger ego to manage a group of big egos. The miracle is for a manager to create a team out of the aggregate. The results are what matters! This blog is beggining to sound like a gossip column.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  19. Dennis

    u guys should just leave the special one alone. if it's that easy let some of his critics try and achieve what he's achieved. He's a very good coach and his ego carries him along so haters leave the special one alone.

    December 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  20. Billa

    Who are the underdogs and possible surprises at the World Cup? My guess is Japan!

    December 29, 2009 at 2:15 am | Reply

    Mourinho is a fantastic coach. The press should leave him alone.. after all nobody holy pass. Bravo the "special one"

    December 29, 2009 at 6:49 am | Reply
  22. Adu

    Mourinho is a great coach and no one can dispute that. He brings life and passion to the game. But it unfortunate the Italian media seems not to understand him. May be they want him to behavior like what the Romans do. Please, let the Special One have peace to enjoy the new year.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:13 am | Reply
  23. Chris

    Pedro, you coudln't more right about the current state of 'World Mourinho'. He clearly is desparate himself to return to the Premiership which is a league and country thats fits him like a glove! He adores the way the british revolve around their football, how the media feed off his character. In Italy its back to the latin intensity where there is a huge lack of compassion and logic, and its all heated childish behavior, the same type he endoured whilst in Portugal! Mourinho is latin but requires the premiership in order to be compatible towards who he is and what makes him tick. Id say (even though I cant stand them), he should go to Liverpool, only because the Manchester United job is still not up for grabs, Ferguson wont let go so soon.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:32 am | Reply
  24. special one

    1) jose was succesful in portugal long before he became famous to the world. may I remind us all that jose won the champions league with Porto?
    2)So jose speaks his mind and that is a crime? people get real. Only insecure people will claim jose is arrogant!
    3) jose does a lot for poor people especially in Africa; we conveniently love to forget this
    4) all great people do not conform to social norms. they have guts to step out and do their own thing. will we have light/electricity today if Albert Einstein had bowed to social pressure and kept his mouth shut?

    January 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  25. Gazellelion

    Why was pedro Pinto's vote not kept a secret? Mourinho should not be mad about that and should respect pedro's vote for another coach. having said that, Mourinho is undoubtedly a world class coach and we saw what he did with Porto with little money and average players. We all have our attitudes and behaviors but the man gets the job done and that's what every team is looking for in a coach. pedro and Mourinho are taking things personal.

    January 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  26. Benedict Okoagbor

    Jose is a fantastic Coach whatever the little observation from people about his behaviour.


    January 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  27. Ekenefinally, UNN

    What's all the fuss about Mourhino's attitude? His effortless mix of sound mangerial prowess and purported arrogance were the very recipe for his celebrated popularity. This guy has conquered three leagues already. 2 days ago, his boys took AC Milan to the cleaners. Have some respect bro!

    January 27, 2010 at 9:06 am | Reply
  28. oke kayode

    I just saw this article and i have to comment. I dont just love Mourinho, I adore him. however am beginning to think that he must be more matured and learn to respect other people and their opinion. am so glad he has maintained a press silence recently, maybe that will save him from himself!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  29. Gurufootball

    I had not seen anything new from you Pedro so I went looking for it and found this blog.
    ou should have voted for him because he is Portuguese. He’s an exceptional coach and the other coach can’t be that much better. Understand that in the world of soccer or sport in general being Portuguese immediately carries a disqualifying factor around the person for many reasons. Simply put there are less of us than them so when someone stands out he really has to be special. It’s the same reason why Portugal to win the WC has to be flawless and completely dominating unlike Italy, Brazil, Germany, England and France oh especially France. Other countries do it; they stick together, to hell with ethics especially if it’s a close vote.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:42 am | Reply
  30. Gurufootball

    I will tell you a story I heard in Mexico and I think it’s applicable.
    On the doc of the bay there were 2 baskets full of crabs. One was American crabs and the other Portuguese crabs. The American crabs started to work together locking their jaws and lifting each other up to escape knowing their pending doom was being boiled to death on the stove of the local restaurant. The Portuguese crabs started locking jaws the same way and as one crab reached the top to escape the others pulled ‘m back down, and sure enough they met with their destiny.
    Food for thought.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:49 am | Reply
  31. Gurufootball


    It takes a bigger ego to manage a group of big egos. The miracle is for a manager to create a team out of the aggregate. The results are what matters! This blog is beginning to sound like a gossip column.

    Absolutely correct. Perhaps that’s also what it takes to be a successful foreign coach in the 3 big leagues. His methods of grabbing attention backed up by results are sure to infuriate some people. Either wise no one would give him the time of day. I like him because he means what he says, and says what he means. What’s wrong with that?

    May 4, 2010 at 3:01 am | Reply

    Moody mourinho needs makeover.. Neat 🙂

    April 22, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply

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