Inevitably when a manager at a top club comes in for criticism, others who are currently redundant are linked with the coveted job. There have been rumours concerning the possibility of Mourinho joining Arsenal for quite some time now and seeing as they aren’t going away, we take a look into whether the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would be a good fit at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal fans and Mourinho have never seen eye to eye. Partly because he’s had a number of run-ins with their legendary manager Arsene Wenger and partly because he’s managed some of their fiercest rivals. His honours list includes titles in England, Spain and Italy. He’s a two time UEFA Champions League winner and has won the UEFA Europa League (or equivalent) twice.
His critics will point to his style of football and the hostile relationships he’s had with some of his star players in more recent times but his desire to win should not be questioned. When Unai Emery was appointed, the Arsenal fans thought they were getting a pragmatist. The Spaniard may be a pragmatist in theory but the reality is the Gunners results haven’t improved all that much under his stewardship and defensively they are as fragile as they’ve ever been.
Playing expansive football whilst winning is the dream of every football purist but it takes a special manager and an exceptional group of players to achieve that. When clubs make managerial appointments, there are rarely any guarantees these days, but one thing you can be sure of is Mourinho’s team would be more efficient defensively.
The former Porto boss, similarly to Arsene Wenger, has great experience in handling the British media and that would take the spotlight off of his players and allow them to focus solely on their football. Emery’s inability to communicate effectively has undoubtedly fuelled media speculation around debates such as the future of Mesut Ozil and that certainly isn’t helpful in the social media age.
A clash of ideologies
Whilst Mourinho seems like a good option given his previous successes, there is a major clash of ideology between his footballing philosophy and what the Arsenal board specified as a key requirement during their recruitment of Unai Emery. If the Portuguese was to come in at the Emirates Stadium and turn the clubs fortunes around, the supporters would soon forgive his previous transgressions but would the club, under its current management, open their arms to such a divisive and maverick figure?
The Arsenal fans launched the #WeCareDoYou campaign over the summer where they called upon the clubs owners KSE to open up lines of communication and prove they have the clubs best interest at the heart of their operation. Taking on a Mourinho-type manager would go a long way in evidencing a shift in direction for this grand old club, but you get the feeling there would need to be a major compromise on both sides before a move such as this could even be considered.