Good morning, everyone!
Prepare for a rant.
Meritocracy is dead
Full disclosure: I’m a Tottenham fan, so I don’t exactly have an unbiased image of Jose Mourinho. He left Spurs in much worse shape than he found them. His football was unattractive. He alienated key players, especially Dele Alli. He was tactically inflexible. Time and time again, Tottenham would grab a 1-0 lead thanks to Kane or Son, only to sit back and let the other team play their way into the game, eventually surrendering an equalizer, usually in the second half. He oversaw embarrassing defeat after embarrassing defeat, capped by an unacceptable capitulation to Dinamo Zagreb in which Spurs not only gave up a 2-0 lead, but did it in the Europa League Round of 16, only days after Zagreb coach had – I kid you not – been handed a five-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
There was nothing positive about Mourinho’s term with Tottenham, outside of a handful of wins earlier this year that can basically be chalked up to Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min carrying the team. There was nothing much positive about his tenure with Manchester United, other than, I suppose, winning the Europa League.
And despite all that, less than a month after he was unceremoniously punted out of North London, Mourinho has a new job as the head coach of AS Roma, a prestigious club in Italy that has played second-fiddle to Juventus, and now Inter, for a while. They’re going to miss out on both European competitions next season, but they’ll definitely have ambitions to qualify for the top four, and potentially challenge for Serie A.
So why did they hire Jose Mourinho? Yes, I know he won a bunch of trophies in the 2000s and early 2010s, but frankly it appears to me, and should appear to any other observers, that Mourinho has lost his magic touch. His focus on passive defending is awfully obsolete in a modern football landscape in which possession, pressing, and explosive counterattacking rule the day. No, they hired him simply because he’s the easy solution.
How many talented but unproven coaches are there at smaller clubs, or assistant coaches like Hansi Flick stuck behind Niko Kovac, around Europe that Roma could take a chance on, instead of retreading the same manager that has proven over the last six years or so that he’s not the top manager he once was? It was the same mistake that Tottenham made when they replace Pochettino, and I hate to see a likable club like Roma do it again. Maybe Jose Mourinho will prove me wrong, as Serie A might be a better environment for his playing style, but until he does, color me skeptical.
Manchester City Advance to the Champions League Final
Later in the day, there was a clash of very rich titans in Manchester, as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City swept aside Paris Saint-Germain to book a ticket to Istanbul for the UEFA Champions League final. It was a brilliant defensive performance from City, especially Ruben Dias and Oleksandr Zinchenko, that saw PSG’s rip-roaring offense (which, to be fair, was missing Kylian Mbappé) limited to zero shots on target over the entire match.
So, of the two blue rich clubs, the slightly lighter blue one won the day.
Youssoufa Moukoko Cooks a Salmon
Because this is ostensibly a Borussia Dortmund blog, here’s a video of Youssoufa Moukoko cooking a salmon:
The Daily Buzz
Do you think that Mourinho will succeed at AS Roma?