Jose Mourinho – the self-proclaimed ‘special one’ has enjoyed an impeccable managerial career over the years. After winning silverware at Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea as well as holding the formidable record of never suffering a home defeat in over 150 fixtures for any club managed – failure is not something the 48 year-old will be accustomed to.
However with the La Liga domestic season drawing to a close, his Real Madrid side sit 5 points adrift from a seemingly unstoppable Barcelona side and further slip-ups in Europe and the Copa Del Rey could see Mourinho head swiftly for the exits come the end of the season.
Whilst Madrid fans are certainly not up in arms over the performances of their Portuguese boss, the pressure is certainly starting to mount on Mourinho with further reports from the BBC that he was attacked by a fan when signing autographs last week.
Whilst the club categorically deny the incident taking place, the unrest is still there for all to see and an embarrassing 5-0 defeat in the season’s first El Clasico certainly did not help matters. The question is however; with pressure mounting, will Mourinho find refuge elsewhere come the end of the season?
It is well documented that Jose holds a strong fan-base back in England thanks to his successful tenure at Chelsea five years ago and a return to English management would no doubt be his first choice after his passion for the game and infectious swagger proved immensely popular with fans and neutrals alike. With a Sir Alex Ferguson retirement scheduled for the not too distant future, the prospect of a job at the Blues’ bitter rivals Manchester United could be all too tempting to turn down.
Italy is also another viable option for Mourinho after last season’s triumphant Champions League title victory with Inter Milan, ironically defeating current rivals Barcelona with a defensive master class along the way.
In truth there would be an infinite list of clubs queuing up for Mourninho’s signature and whilst the world may well be his oyster if he decides to leave, is the criticism he’s received really justified? Not really.
Line-up both Barcelona and Real Madrid starting elevens side by side and it’s clear to see where the lion-share of quality lies. Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos may possess world class pedigree for Madrid, there is no one else Los Galacticos can call upon who can rival the impact that Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique and David Villa all have for Catalonian giants Barcelona week-in, week-out.
The loan acquisition of over-looked Man City striker Emmanuel Adebayor further highlights the problems Madrid have had in the goal department this season with Karim Benzema never really living up to his true potential.
Study the La Liga table for just a moment and despite possessing an inferior team to Barcelona on paper, it’s true to say that a total of 73 points in 29 games is still an impressive return and this points tally at the time of writing would indeed put Madrid top of the Premier League and clear by ten points with a game in hand over second placed Manchester United.
The special one’s youthful squad have fared well this season and with a Copa Del Rey final and Champions League quarter final still to play, the season is by no means over. Whilst failure is something Mourinho has never really dealt with during his career, it is unlikely the Madrid boss will walk come the end of the season with an unsuccessful stint with arguably the world’s biggest club hanging over his head.