Thursday, 27 May 2010

Jose goes on the attack, but will it last?

As marriages go Jose Mourinho being wed to Real Madrid looks about as doomed as a Britney Spears marriage. There are many parallels that can be drawn in fact. Mourinho will have an interfering control freak of a father figure to deal with in club president Florentino Perez. He will also have to fend off a paparazzi pack which will be ready and waiting to tear him limb from limb when he doesn't win his first three matches in charge 6-0.

For those of you who are not big Britney fans though allow me to underline what I believe Mourinho's main problems will be at Madrid.

Obviously his biggest is the way his teams play football. Mourinho himself has described his Inter team as a 'team of blood, not skill'. Although the English is rudimentary you get the gist and its hard to say that his Chelsea side were any different, often they were described as 'The Machine'. Real on the other hand are anything but a machine, they have players such as Guti and Ronaldo who are built to entertain and look pretty, and their fans like it, even if they can be prone to leaving vacuous gaps in their defense. Is Mourinho simply going to waltz into the haloed Santiago Bernabau and install tactics compromising an Italian defensive barricade combined with English 'bullishness'?

The next issue he faces is whether his style of play will humour the current footballing talent in Madrid? These are players that came to Madrid to be part of the Galactico's, an elite squad of players who are so good that they can play in white and never even get dirty. What will their reaction be when the new coach actually tells them how to play? Rather than sitting on the fringes and occasionally stammering "well played lads".

Then finally hot off the press today and the reasoning behind my headline. Mourinho wants his type of player at Madrid. Not satisfied with the £190 million pounds spent last summer by Madrid and the problems he already faces, he now wants to buy English footballs oldest dilemma. Lampard and Gerrard. Not only are these two players reaching the twilight of their careers; both are untried abroad, neither has ever done a step over, and as any England fan will testify they cannot be played together. Add to this the fact that its difficult to see either Lampard or Gerrard adapting to Spanish life and it seems that even 'The Special One' will have his work cut out.

What then can we reasonably expect from a Madrid side with Jose at the helm? Champions League winners? La Liga champions? I'm going to say neither. He will probably win the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) and then handkerchief sales will rise 10 fold in Madrid prior to their unveiling at the final home game of the season thus bringing Jose's reign to an end. Stats don't lie and when you consider that Mourinho will be Real's 11th coach in 7 years you can't help but wonder why Mourinho didn't take a vacation. During which, enough time would have passed for his God complex to subside slightly and for him to see without hindrance the huge mistake he was about to make.

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