Why we mustn’t force managers to change their style

Recently, I was at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and my mind couldn’t help but wander off to football. This moment came when I was inspecting Pablo Picasso’s Las Meninas collection. In 1957, Picasso painted 58 different variations of Diego Velázquez’s classic portrait which had been completed 300 years earlier. Velázquez’s original is a traditional…

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Mourinho is here to stay at Manchester United

José Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United, said on Wednesday that he will require ample time in order to transform the football club into a serious force once more. He reiterated his point by mentioning that the best manager the Premier League has ever known also required a number of years to build a period that…

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José Mourinho: the early years

“I was nine or 10-years-old and my father was sacked on Christmas Day. He was a manager, the results had not been good, he lost a game on December 22 or 23. On Christmas Day, the telephone range and he was sacked in the middle of our lunch.” José Manuel Mourinho Félix­ had enjoyed a successful…

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José Mourinho: the Porto years

The ball looped over a tired Monaco defender into the vacant fields of destiny. Dmitri Alenichev, one of many Porto predators, slithered in pursuit, before pounding it beyond the helpless goalkeeper high into the net with an almighty thud. For a moment time stood still in Gelsenkirchen, only for an explosion of joy to shake the…

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Iker Casillas: the reserved prince of diplomacy

The art of diplomacy, it is said, is to recognise the beliefs, opinions and feelings of other people and to balance them accordingly with those of their opponents – breeding it itself an air of open communication based on mutual respect and rational understanding. Politics and football – polar opposites in isolation – share common characteristics…

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Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea years

THOUSANDS OF VOICES COULD BE HEARD singing the famous Russian folklore song ‘Kalinka’ during another of Chelsea’s match at Stamford Bridge. The crowd cheered a goal scored by the Blues and peered gaily, and perhaps thankfully, at the seat where Roman Abramovich settled, smiling shyly to hide his undoubted confidence. His plan was obviously working. When…

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