“So do you want Jose Mourinho to go? And who would you get to replace him?”
For the last few months, that has pretty much been the first question that anyone has asked upon realising that I’m a United fan. The truth is, until very recently I’ve been in the pro-Mourinho camp but it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend the performances and the results.
I can’t deny that he’s a bit mad. His press conferences are must-see, he loves a touchline tussle and his first season came with a couple of trophies. But after two and a half seasons, things have grown stale, not translating to results or a style of football that can remotely be considered enjoyable to watch. This has led to many of the UK’s bookmakers to shorten their odds on Jose leaving his role in the not too distant future.
It’s looking increasingly likely that soon Jose Mourinho could potentially be looking for a new job.
So let’s imagine an alternate universe. One when Jose Mourinho is not one of the most recognisable and successful football managers of his generation. Instead, he’s recently been hired to be the Managing Director of medium sized agency. He comes with a proven track record, winning big clients and host of awards around the globe, but what decisions would he make? And how would these affect the business as a whole? Let’s find out:
1: The Death of Creativity:
It goes without saying that the most obvious criticism of Mourinho’s current United team is the style of play. Results haven’t been great, but the football on offer has been truly horrendous to watch with a number of creative players (Sanchez, Martial, Rashford, Pogba, etc) seemingly having their wings clipped by the Portuguese manager.
Jose’s new agency is renowned for its creativity. It’s got a long and rich history of thought-provoking, captivating, award-winning work. Their clients expect it from them, it’s way they’re known for.
Jose on the other hand prefers a rather more pragmatic approach and he’s not changing his mind for nobody. He’s puts hitting KPI’s over innovation and it’s a tactic that has worked for him wherever he has been.
The thought-provoking campaigns become a thing of the past and Jose weathers the storm of criticism sent his way by industry critics, former clients and even his own staff, as his tried and tested formula fails to yield results.
2: Proving a point to the board:
After looking around the city to see what other agencies are doing, Jose puts a request in to his board to free up a little extra budget to hire another designer. After making a half hearted attempt to hire someone, the board decide they’re happy with the five designers they already have and reject the request.
‘We gave you all the hires you wanted last time and that’s yet to bring results.’ They say. But this falls on deaf ears with Jose who decides to prove a point.
For the next two weeks, Carol from reception is moved into the new role of ‘Head of Design’ and the guy from the contract cleaning company they use is brought in to give her support. Meanwhile, the two designers who have been moved from their usual roles watch on from the sidelines wondering where there careers went so wrong.
3: Expenses would go through the roof:
It’s now the 30th November 2018. Jose Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager on the 27th May 2016.
He still lives in The Lowry Hotel, a five-star hotel on the edge of Manchester city centre, and the cost of all those cooked breakfasts eventually add up.
4: Starting beef with other agency owners:
We live in the age of collaboration and there seems to general goodwill between agency owners. Mourinho on the other has not time for it and is looking to stir things up a little bit.
Ten years ago, a rival named Antonio Conte involved in an embarrassing incident where he was accused of offering kickbacks to the staff of potential customers if they worked with him. Most people have now forgotten about it and moved on with their lives, but not Mourinho who sees this as the ideal time to bring it up in a Prolific North interview.
Jose spends as much time as possible winding up other agency owners and after watching his company lose ‘Best Digital Agency’ at the City of Manchester Business Awards he spends the rest of the evening holding three fingers up to the audience; the number of times he won the award with his last agency.
5: Moaning about the state of the city:
When United played Valencia earlier in the season, their drive from the Lowry Hotel to Old Trafford was hit by heavy traffic and they arrived at the stadium much later than planned, racking up a UEFA fine in the process.
To counteract this, when they played Juventus they moved into a hotel a mile away from the ground. Again, the traffic was chaos and the seemingly simple journey took 45 minutes with Mourinho walking the last stretch with the fans.
I’d like to think in his new role he’d spend most of his time ranting about the city’s infrastructure on social media. But would that make him any different from the rest of us?
Anyway, I found that a pretty cathartic experience and hopefully Mourinho can start proving me wrong against Southampton this weekend. Was there anything I missed out? Let me know…