Warning: May cause controversy and opinions in which some may not agree with.
I admit to writing this piece after seeing Jose Mourinho winning the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan, for the second time in his career. I know a lot of Liverpool fans take a dislike to JM, whether it be because the infamous finger to the mouth in Cardiff 2005, or the rivalry between himself and Rafael Benitez, or his general arrogance and cockiness during his time as Chelsea manager, and the money he went on to spend to win 2 league championships, and FA cup and two league cups. However, it’s difficult to dismiss what type of manager he is. I’ve seen on this site and other Liverpool FC forums, the cry from Liverpool fans for JM to take over as manage, and then the other set of fans who totally do not want him as manage because 1. JM needs money to succeed and 2. He’s not as offensive as people make out him to be.
First of all, it does seem that Mourinho needs money to win. He spent a lot of money at Chelsea to but players such as Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, the list goes on. He also bought players at Inter to go on and win the treble this season. However, the IRWT brigade want to quickly dismiss JM as manage of Liverpool because he needs money to win, yet they also claim that Benitez’s failings this season has been down to the fact he hasn’t had money to spend. Does that mean that for Rafa Benitez to win things, he needs money as well? Just like Mourinho.
Second of all, it’s clear to me, Mourinho sets out his teams to win, whereas Benitez sets out his teams to not lose. Some people may argue this point by referring to the Barcelona game at the Nou Camp and the game to some extent last night against Munich, where Inter appeared to ‘park the bus/plane’. Yes that is the case, but the bus was only parked AFTER Inter had beaten Barcelona 3-1 (offensive) and after Inter were 2-0 up against Bayern (offensive). Where as, Benitez has consistently played Lucas and Mascherano in the defensive midfield role, and not giving Lucas the free attacking role in which he probably excels in. Would Mourinho do this at Liverpool? Would Mourinho play Torres up front on his own? Would Mourinho play Kuyt on the right? Would Mourinho get the best out of Ryan Babel? Would Mourinho play Steven Gerrard in his preferred role of central midfield? Lets be honest, not even Steven Gerrard knows what his role in the Liverpool team is now other than to put on a front of being the captain.
The fact of the matter is, most footballers in the world would love to play for Jose Mourinho, and he is the kind of manager who puts his arm around you. Would most players in the world want to play for Rafael Benitez? Steven Gerrard has said before he longs for a ‘well done’ from his manage. So can we really blame Steven Gerrard for wanting to leave Liverpool for a Real Madrid team that is managed by Jose Mourinho, where he has a better chance of winning the league and champion’s league? Not really no, he’s done his shift at Liverpool now, and its been much appreciated (except this season he has performed way off what his quality actually is). It must be said though, Steven Gerrard probably would rather win one premier league with Liverpool than 5 premier leagues with Chelsea or 5 La Liga’s with Real Madrid. Liverpool could make a lot of money off him as well; a possible transfer target after Gerrard departure is clearly James Milner who has (admittedly in the press) ‘he wants to play for Liverpool’.
So what does Liverpool’s future hold? Personally I would like to see Jose Mourinho as Liverpool manage, but that’s not going to happen, its may happen in a few years time, but it wont be happening now. In my opinion, the club needs a clearout, owners, manager, average players and unwanted players. Benitez needs money to succeed, so Liverpool needs a manager who can work well under a tight budget i.e. a motivator, for me Benitez is not a motivator. The same names keep cropping up (if Rafa does go), Martin O’Neil, Roy Hodgson. One name for me (which may cause controversy) is Mark Hughes. He did a good job at Blackburn, getting them from relegations battles to qualifying for Europe and FA Cup semi finals, on a low budget. OK he has played for Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton, but I think if Mark Hughes would to a good job at Liverpool. And if Gerrard does ago (and despite what I have said I don’t want him to) you have to say good luck to him and hope he doesn’t do a ‘Michael Owen’. And Liverpool should look to get players like Joe Cole (and not David Bentley which has also be reported), and James Milner who could potentially fill the Steven Gerrard role. Other players such as Gary Cahill should be other targets for Liverpool, and not average players from abroad. There again, we don’t do know what future holds.