It turns out Jose Mourinho wasn’t joking when he said he didn’t need an extended break from football after being sacked as Tottenham manager, because he’s got a new job already.
The Portuguese coach has been officially announced as the new manager of AS Roma, taking over from the departing Paulo Fonseca this summer to return to Serie A for the first time since leading Inter Milan to a treble 11 years ago.
Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham on April 19th, just six days before the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. The club went on to lose the final 1-0, but Mourinho’s departure before the game meant that Spurs were the first side he’s managed since prior to being Porto manager that he failed to win a trophy with.
With no obvious job roles readily available at the time of his sacking many people including myself speculated that he could (or should) move into international management once the Euro 2020 tournament concludes.
However Roma have made a swift decision to not renew the contract of Paulo Fonseca this summer and instead bring in a prove winner in Italy in Mourinho. The club had reportedly been eyeing up former Chelsea and Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri for the role, but when Mourinho became available the club’s sporting director Tiago Pinto made him a priority.
It should be an interesting season for Mourinho in Italy, with Roma likely to miss out on Champions League and Europa League football next season. They are currently sitting in seventh place in the league and were thumped in the first-leg of their Europa League semi-final clash against Manchester United – losing 6-2 at Old Trafford despite having a 2-1 lead at half-time.
That could buy Mourinho some time in the project, using the first season to just focus on getting back into the Champions League while figuring out his squad needs and which players he can and can’t count on.
What it also does though, is show just how far his star has fallen since he was regarded as one of the top names in the world.
Mourinho has won just four trophies since the 2014/15 season, or five if you’re him and include the Community Shield in that conversation. He’s won nothing since the 2016/17 season with Manchester United and since that title win in 2015 with Chelsea, he has finished sixth, second and seventh while also being sacked three times.
He was sacked at Chelsea after having the club in 16th place, just one point above relegation the year after winning the title, before getting sacked at Manchester United in sixth place and Spurs in seventh place.
Even before the Spurs job many questioned whether he was the right man for the job anymore but when he stated that he had adapted his philosophies, people were willing to give him another chance.
What we saw was the same old, confrontational and argumentative Mourinho and thus it was no shock to see him struggle and eventually be dismissed.
In Serie A he returns to a league where he had great success and is still adored by the vast majority of the media after leaving on his own, good terms back in 2010 to take over at Real Madrid.
He has another chance to return to the top bracket of European football managers now, but it really is sink or swim at this point in his career now.
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