Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

BALDARI | José Mourinho is About to Blow his Last Chance at Coaching


During A.S. Roma’s Italian Serie A match against Hellas Verona on Feb. 19, Roma head coach José Mourinho was sent off the field for complaining about a late-game call. Some may call his antics cheeky, but it was yet another reminder that the decorated Portuguese coach might be on the verge of squandering his last coaching opportunity.

Flashy and combative, Mourinho was brought in to the Eternal City last summer to propel Roma back into the top four for the first time since the 2017-18 season. But his team is struggling. 

Sitting in eighth place in Serie A as of Feb. 24, the Giallorossi are on pace to finish lower in the standings than their seventh place performance in the 2020-21 season, after which manager Paulo Fonseca was sacked. 

Roma’s struggles are not entirely Mou’s fault. Injuries have kept key players on the sidelines: left-back Leonardo Spinazzola has missed the whole season since tearing his Achilles during the Euro quarterfinals in July 2021, and young winger Nicolò Zaniolo has missed several games due to minor injuries.

However, Mourinho, who has complained about his team’s transfer budget, must acknowledge that he got the pieces he desired to help build his team. Roma signed striker Tammy Abraham from Chelsea and acquired full-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and center midfielder Sérgio Oliveira on loan deals from Arsenal and Porto, respectively. 

Despite these big-name arrivals, Mourinho’s defensive, counter attacking tactics have yet to pay dividends.

The self-proclaimed “Special One” has won trophies everywhere he’s worked and is always quick to remind his critics of that fact, but keeping a job is about producing in the present, not sitting on one’s laurels. 

The reality is that Mourinho is on the decline. In an era that favors possession and creativity in the final third, Mourinho’s brand of soccer prioritizes gritty, physical defense and no-frills attacking, which no longer cranks out results like it did when he led the likes of Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan to domestic and European trophies in the 2000s.

What’s more, Mourinho’s propensity to make headlines for on-field dissent and press conference jabs continues to be a problem. The red card against Verona was his second of the season, underscoring his inability to control his temper. 

His shenanigans would be easier to forgive if his team was winning, but Roma is winless in its past three league games and was knocked out of the Coppa Italia quarter finals by Inter.

Instagram via @josemourinho | José Mourinho may be on his last legs as a coach after recent losing stint with Roma and more unprofessional outbreaks.

Mourinho’s favored strategies — shifting blame to his players, maintaining an arrogant public persona and insisting on using outdated on-field tactics — no longer cut it. He must evolve, or the game will pass him by.

Some might argue that those tantrums are anomalies and should not define Mourinho the coach, but his behavior has actually stayed consistent — if not worsened — throughout his managerial career. 

In the 2018-19 season, his last at Manchester United, Mourinho’s bitter and public feud with captain Paul Pogba, coupled with United’s disappointing results, infected locker room spirit and led to his firing.

Just two seasons later at Tottenham, Mourinho’s unflinching criticism of his players during press conferences eroded the morale of an underwhelming Spurs side, and he was quickly let go. 

Now in Rome, not much has changed. Mourinho takes no issue with publicly throwing his players under the bus, rather than insulating them from media criticism. For instance, he lambasted them for a “lack of personality” after blowing a 3-1 lead in a game against Juventus in January.

Roma fans are among the most passionate in all of Italy, and they have been starved of a Serie A championship for 21 years. Never one to shy away from media attention, Mourinho must know that every Roma loss or feisty quote gives pundits another opportunity to call for his replacement. 

Mourinho has never lasted at a club for more than three seasons, and if he is unable to right the ship in Rome, he might not even last one for Roma.

Christian Baldari is a sophomore in the College. Beware the Hype appears online and in print every other week.

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    sene amenhotepApr 1, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    you damn right