Is This The Beginning of The End For Jose Mourinho
But then, Mourinho never wanted to be like them or, worse, to follow them. He was 'The Special One'. He stood alone, just the way he likes it, railing against the game's "philosophers", driven by the belief that his way is the right way; the only way, in fact, so determined is he to prove that he knows best; better than Pep, and better than Barca, where he came to be derogatorily referred to as 'The Translator' because of his origins at Camp Nou.
He has long been bemused by the respect and reverence afforded coaches such as Sarri, who are labelled as visionaries despite never having won a league or European trophy.
"There are lots of poets in football but poets, they don't win many titles," he pointedly sniped after last year's Europa League triumph.
The problem is, though, Mourinho is no longer winning major titles himself, having claimed just one league (at Chelsea) and no Champions Leagues in the past five years, after seven leagues and two Champions Leagues in the preceding decade.
He is no longer even a defensive mastermind. His United side had already conceded more goals this season than they had during the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign.
And when one takes away his defensive nous, or that once remarkable ability to create a unifying siege mentality at club, there really is nothing left but the fearful, dour football we again saw at Anfield at the weekend.
So, who would want him now? Certainly, none of Europe's elite.
As Diego Simeone has quite rightly argued, smaller clubs are sometimes forced to play defensively to stand a chance against financial heavyweights. But such negative tactics don't fly at the Bernabeu or Camp Nou. The game has moved on at the highest level.
As it stands, only a club as desperate as United were to return to winning ways would even consider hiring him... so, maybe Inter.
Like Mourinho, they are a club living off former glories, some of Mourinho's glories. Certainly, they could reassure one another that they have conquered Europe before; they can do so again.
But as we have seen at countless Manchester United press conferences, and even the late win over Juventus in Turin last month, that really is all Mourinho has left to offer: reminders of past victories.
Yesterday’s man certainly won’t be walking into a new job tomorrow. The Portuguese's sacking as Manchester United boss comes as no surprise and no elite club will be interested in a coach who has failed to evolve
Just over a decade ago, Jose Mourinho took a Chelsea side to Anfield for a Champions League semi-final clash with Rafa Benitez's Liverpool.
That the game was high on tension but low on quality appeared to bother only the much-maligned purists, chief among them, Jorge Valdano, who famously labelled the contest "sh*t hanging on a stick".
"If football is going the way Chelsea and Liverpool are taking it, we had better be ready to wave goodbye to any expression of the cleverness and talent we have enjoyed for a century," the Argentine warned.
Luckily, Barcelona opted to appoint Pep Guardiola rather than Mourinho as their new coach in 2008, thus completely altering the course of football history. The Catalan not only ushered in an unprecedented period of sustained success at Camp Nou, he also proved that technique could triumph over physique.
Although not always. Not even Guardiola, Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta could prevent Mourinho's powerful Inter side from winning a historic treble in 2010.
Back then, Mourinho was the master of defensive football. With his almost impenetrable backlines, his chosen attackers were given the perfect platform on which to go about destroying opponents.
It is worth noting that his Real Madrid side scored 121 goals and racked up a record-breaking 100 points in winning the 2011-12 Liga title ahead of Pep's Barca.
However, his time at the Santiago Bernabeu ended in acrimony, after several high-profile disputes with senior players, as well as widespread dissatisfaction with the style of play among the board, the fans and the media.
Whereas at Porto, Chelsea and Inter he was championed for upsetting Europe's traditional superpowers, his reactive tactics were not well received at Real.
"Barcelona play football and dance, while Madrid just run back and forth constantly, tiring themselves out," club legend Alfredo Di Stefano lamented after watching a drawn Clasico in 2011. "Barcelona were a lion, Madrid a mouse.
"Barca treat the ball with adoration and respect, almost nurturing it. To see this team in action is a delight. You don't just watch their football with your eyes but you feel it inside."
Mourinho doesn't feel it, though. He doesn't even understand it.
SOURCE CREDIT : Goal.com