In Brief

Jose Mourinho’s next club checklist: ambition, structural empathy and a winning mentality

Former Manchester United boss is plotting his return to football

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he’s seeking another job in football. But the Special One says that his return to football management must be with a special club.

Since he was sacked by Manchester United on December 18, the 56-year-old has been without gainful employment. He says he’s been biding his time as he waits to return to football.

“I want to work in a club that understands there is a structure in place,” he told The Daily Telegraph. Which means?

“I don’t want an internal conflict. I want internal empathy. During my career I have been working in every possible circumstance. The most successful situations are not because of the structure but because of the empathy in the structure.” 

Hunting trophies

Mourinho’s detractors might wonder if he isn’t the cause of the internal conflict – certainly those who reside at Old Trafford. Since Mourinho left United the Red Devils have soared up the Premier League table with just one defeat in 14 matches under their caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But there’s no doubt that Mourinho has chosen to work at some of the most volatile clubs in recent years, with two stints at Chelsea, and spells in charge of Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

That’s why, he told the Telegraph, his next destination may be “a club that is not ready to be a trophy-hunter immediately but with the ambition to be a trophy-hunter”. 

Empathy

Of more importance to the Portuguese is the mindset of those in charge.

“If it is a club without ambition I wouldn’t go,” he said, adding that he recently turned turned down one managerial job for that reason.

“I refused [the job offer] because I want high-level football and ambitions at the highest level. That is my second item [of requirement].

“My first item is structural empathy. 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.”

Specialist in success

Despite the fact that several pundits wondered if Mourinho had become “yesterday’s man” in the wake of his departure from United, his confidence remains undimmed. He’s determined to return to winning ways with his next club, whoever it might be.

“I feel my natural habitat is winning,” he said. “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…

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

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