Mourinho Fulfils his Destiny


Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea football club. In doing so, he fulfils his destiny as the special one, chosen to achieve greatness. His story, like that of David Beckham, is the tragedy of those who would challenge the Gods by flying too close to the sun

Jose Mourinho is the John F Kennedy of football mangers. The clearest illustration of the charismatic personality in a sport not lacking in charismatics. The similarities to the stories of David Beckham and George Best are worth noting.

According the mythologists, the story draws on deep and commonly shared beliefs about ourselves and our world. It speaks of our acceptance of powerful forces guiding our destiny. The most powerful stories are told and retold down the ages. They can be found in Greek tragedies, in Celtic and Norse sagas, and also in the campfire tales of ancient peoples. The central figure is heroic. Destined to succeed spectacularly, and then fail spectacularly. The message is that the special ones may appear to have been blessed, but whoever is out there doing the blessing also wants to remind us that humans at some point have to come to terms with their limitations.

The special gifts of the charismatic include that of captivating those with whom they come into contact. We still use the old terms such as ‘spell-binding’ about their acts and speeches.

Jose had to go

Jose was fated to lead Chelsea to success, as he was fated to win the European Cup with Porto, a team hardly considered capable of it. Charismatic leaders have that effect on followers. The spell makes then capable of achieving things they would otherwise have believed to be impossible.

Those who come to mock often fall under the spell, but may fight against it. So it was that Mourinho even captivated the skilled and wilful members of the English Media legions, although there were those waiting, waiting patiently for the story to end in tears.

However, the spell retains its potency. Even when there are signals of a different reality, there are cries of denial. Jose has a contract to 2010. He will be staying at Chelsea. Thus spake Peter Kenyon on behalf of the club. But the fact he needed to make such an assurance was significant.

Perhaps sensitized by the week’s financial denials and reversals of policy by the Government and the Bank of England, I was not convinced by the spokesman on behalf of the Chelsea financial empire. So much so that I found time yesterday to update an earlier post, on the likelihood of Jose leaving the club.

Jose, David, and George

As is it with Jose, so it was with David Beckham and George Best. Their stories have similar ingredients of great giftedness and achievements accompanied by reminders of their fallibility, and potential downfalls. All achieved world-wide acclaim. All suffered. I will spare further links to the stories of the great Achilles or the original Hero. Jose and David still may have opportunities for further episodes in their reworking of that ancient story.

7 Responses to Mourinho Fulfils his Destiny

  1. Alan Goodwin says:

    There is nothing “special” about Mourinho’s gifts as a football coach, or his departure from Chelsea. His success has been built on nothing more than money (most competant managers could have won the premiership on that budget) and his departure is due to that age old problem – a clash of ego’s. No club is big enough to accomadate him and Abromavich. It is a very long stretch to say Mourinho displays the kind of leadership John Kennedy displayed. Mourinho is an overpaid egotist who uses language to divide; Kennedy had a noble (if flawed) spirit who used language to educate and unite.

  2. Tudor says:

    Hi Alan

    I was attracted to the comparison between Mourinho and Kennedy as examples of a charismatic style. But I had misgivings too. Perhaps I was too attracted to a nice turn of phrase. It is a long stretch, as you say.

    Nor are you alone in the view that ‘anyone could have done that with the budget he had’ , and that the departure was about a battle of egos.

    Is it a testable assertion that anyone competent could win the championship on that budget? I think I could provide counter-examples (and Chelsea may now be another example in waiting). Or will failing to win be put down to failure to get a competent coach?

    Best wishes

    (from someone who only just resisted the attractions of relocating to New Zealand after a study leave in Canterbury).

  3. Mick says:

    Jose’ Mourinho, is one of the most intelligent football coaches of our time. He is a legend. But, now we live in the Post Mourinho and Chelsea keep winning under Grant. Now Chelsea is in Second Place and when they capture the Premier League Cup, Mourinho’s stock will fall. Arsenal has a rich Russian now. And that’s OK for the UK low brow Sport tabloids.

    Chelsea is baaaack!

  4. Tudor says:

    I didn’t know Arsenal had a rich Russian. I do think they are playing great football at present. Chelsea seem to be just about hanging on to their coat tails.

    Best wishes

  5. Mick says:

    I retract. It was a rumor that another rich Russian was buying into Arsenal. Maybe he thought it was a UK military arsenal. Anyway, the tide has turned. Arsenal just lost and broke their 19 game winning streak.

  6. […] leadership with Jose Mourinho and Kevin Keegan as case examples. These were contrasted with the post-charismatic ideas of modest […]

  7. uno says:

    I was very impressed. One day I want to be like him

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