Jose Mourinho insists his time at the top isn’t over and is looking for “empathy” at next club

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It will come as a shock to no one that Mourinho thinks he can still cut it as a top-class coach. (AFP)
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Updated 26 February 2019

Jose Mourinho insists his time at the top isn’t over and is looking for “empathy” at next club

  • "Special One" happy to manage at a club without lots of trophies so long as it has ambition.
  • “Some guys don’t win any trophies for 18 years. I didn’t win any trophy for 18 months.”

LONDON: Jose Mourinho is willing to manage a club that is not used to success so long as it has “ambition.”

The man known as the “Special One” was sacked by Manchester United in December and has kept a low profile since — bar slipping on the ice at a Russian ice hockey match and a few TV appearances. But in his first big interview since he was issued with his marching orders from Old Trafford Mourinho insisted his time at the top and winning trophies was far from over. 

“I want high-level football and ambitions at the highest level,” the Portuguese told The Telegraph. 

“(I would) look at a club that is not ready to be a trophy-hunter immediately but with the ambition to be a trophy-hunter.”

“If it is a club without ambition I wouldn’t go.” 

Mourinho has rarely slipped up at a club in the way he did at Manchester United and during this Russian ice hockey match last month. (AFP) 

After he proved himself to be a footballing alchemist at Porto — leading the Portuguese club to Champions league glory in 2004 — Mourinho has only managed big clubs, with deep pockets and a willingness to spend. From Chelsea he went to Inter Milan, Real Madrid, back to Stamford Bridge before his time at Manchester United. The perception of the “Special One” is that he will and can now only manage at clubs with big-name players and an ability to splash the cash. But Mourinho insisted of greater importance to him is the culture within any club he joins. 

I don’t want an internal conflict,” said Mourinho, who has down the years earned a reputation for confronting senior players at clubs he has managed.

“I want internal empathy. And then your conflict is on Sunday on the pitch when you play against somebody who wants to steal your three points.

“That’s the moment of the conflict.”

Mourinho, who enjoyed a good first season with United, landing the Europa League and League Cup before things turned sour when he won nothing last year, says structural empathy is obligatory for him.

“I don’t know if it is a bad translation from Portuguese to English but focus on these two words, ‘structure’ and ‘empathy’,” said Mourinho.

“I want to work with structural empathy. A club is a structure, a complex structure where the manager is an important part of that structure but he is not the structure.

“I want to work with people that I love.

“People I want to work with, that I am happy to work with, with whom I share the same ideas.

“It was what I had at Inter. There are clubs like this. Normally, that is a very important part of a successful club.”

The sight of Mourinho leaving a club under a cloud is nothing new. He was twice sacked from Chelsea and parted company with Real having fallen out with the players and out of favor with the club president Florentino Perez. But he enjoyed success in all three stints at the Bernabeu and Stamford Bridge. Something that, despite winning the League Cup and Europa Cup, few would say about his time in the Old Trafford dugout. 

Asked whether he would learn from his Manchester United failure, Mourinho said: “People used to say that you learn more with defeat.

“Maybe there is some truth in it. I feel my natural habitat is winning. This is the first time when I didn’t win any trophy for 18 months.

“Some guys don’t win any trophies for 18 years. I didn’t win any trophy for 18 months.

“Now I have time for thinking, reflection, trying to understand everything and trying to be more ready for the next one that is coming,” said Mourinho.

“I know it is coming. It hasn’t come yet because what has come along, I didn’t want.”



Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

Updated 09 December 2019

Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

  • Leicester takes the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool

BIRMINGHAM: Jamie Vardy scored for an eighth straight game for Premier League high-flyer Leicester on Sunday with a double in a 4-1 dismantling of Aston Villa.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans also scored to help Leicester set a new club record of eight consecutive top-flight wins and take the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool.

Jack Grealish did make it 2-1 just before the break but the Foxes were rarely in danger.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are 14 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.

“We are up there, we are challenging and playing well,” Evans told broadcaster Sky Sports. “Probably now, today, I think people are starting to talk more about that.

“Coming away from Villa with a really good performance, I think that’s the best Villa team we have played against for quite a while and we had to grind it out and it shows we are capable of getting good results.”

By contrast, Villa is only out of the relegation zone on goal difference after slipping to a fifth defeat in seven games.

Villa was wide open and Leicester should have taken the lead after 10 minutes.

Caglar Soyuncu knocked James Maddison’s deep free-kick back for Evans, who could only shoot straight at goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Immediately, Villa broke to spurn their own golden chance when Matt Targett crossed for Anwar El Ghazi to hit the bar from six yards. With the chance went Villa’s early hopes and they swiftly lost any grip of the game when Vardy continued his scoring streak in the 20th minute.

Wesley lost the ball and the lively Iheanacho slipped the striker in to race clear and round Heaton. Vardy miscued his kick when preparing to shoot but recovered to tap in, despite Konsa’s efforts on the line.

Vardy is now just three games away from equalling his own Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive games.

Villa’s problems were partly of their own making with center back Tyrone Mings unable to cover having already suffered a hamstring injury and the defender was immediately replaced by Bjorn Engels.

Villa could not handle Vardy’s pace and Iheanacho’s movement.

There was a touch of fortune but Leicester deserved to double its lead in the 41st when Maddison crossed and Iheanacho diverted in at the near post.

The Foxes were cruising but Grealish pulled a goal back in first-half injury time when he curled in from 16 yards after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Leicester, though, wasted no time in restoring their two-goal lead four minutes after the break.