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Jose Mourinho as Liverpool Manager: First 90 Days

mourinho benitez Jose Mourinho as Liverpool Manager: First 90 DaysTomorrow, Liverpool’s new owners Gillette and Hicks will meet with Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry in New York City to discuss the building of the new Anfield stadium. At the same time, the conversation will likely delve into Rafa Benitez and his future as manager of Liverpool FC.

While Mourinho is supposedly keen on taking Benitez’s job, the New York meeting will be a good test of the patience and intent for Gillette and Hicks. Whether they’re willing to make a rash decision is unclear, but Benitez’s days are undoubtedly numbered and the pressure has been building for a few months.

But if Mourinho did take charge at Liverpool, whether that be now or in the summer, let’s imagine what his first 90 days would look like and what changes he would make to make the club more successful than what Benitez has achieved:

  1. Bring in his own team of right hand men. While Benitez has been reluctant to find an adequate replacement for his assistant Paco Ayesteran, Mourinho has a team of qualified assistants that are awaiting Mourinho’s call to follow him to his next club.
  2. Remove the dead wood. In quick succession, Mourinho would sell several of Liverpool’s players that are bringing the team down and are not qualified to be a part of what’s needed for a team that’s serious about winning the Premier League trophy. That means goodbye to Dirk Kuyt, John Arne Riise, Harry Kewell, Sami Hyypia and Momo Sissoko.
  3. Make tough decisions on the rest of the Liverpool squad. During Benitez’s tenure as manager, the Spaniard has brought in several promising younger players who are stuck in the reserve squad and don’t seem like they have much chance of playing first team football. Mourinho needs to decide what to do with these players and whether there are some hidden pearls there that deserve more playing time. The players include Lucas Leiva, Sebastian Leto, Emiliano Insua as well as 22 players out on loan at other clubs.
  4. Make tactical changes. Whether it’s key matches against the likes of Arsenal and Man United or against lesser opposition such as Wigan, Derby or Reading, Rafa Benitez’s squad has been outplayed and/or outwitted on too many occasions recently. Mourinho will bring a new lease of life to the Liverpool squad with fresh tactical ideas.
  5. New players. Rather than being too reliant on players from Spain, Mourinho will bring a whole new cast of winners to Liverpool from different corners of the globe. Benitez’s record thus far of signing decent players has been below par. Mourinho would change that in short order. The first order of business would be to bring in a quality striker to partner Torres up front. Other positions that need to be filled include a new right winger and better coverage for a centre back.
  6. A winning attitude. Watching Liverpool play of late, it’s easy to see that the players don’t have the confidence that they had at the beginning of the season. While they don’t admit it publicly, they’re playing like they know they’ve lost the chance of winning the Premier League trophy. Mourinho would infuse Liverpool players with a new self belief and winning attitude.

While a lot of Liverpool fans will disagree, I can see Mourinho thriving as Liverpool manager. He’d be able to forge stronger ties with Gillette and Hicks by starting off with a clean slate and, at the end of the day, it’s results that matter. Liverpool fans deserve better and Jose Mourinho could be the man to turn them into Premier League champions.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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11 Responses to Jose Mourinho as Liverpool Manager: First 90 Days

  1. Simon says:

    This will be a disaster. Liverpool fans dont want him adn wont be excited by him. Maurinho would love it only to rub it in Rafa’s face but this will all sour very quickly. All Liverpool fans I know dont want him and whereas he is a good manager he should go where people genuinely want rather than to a place where he is already disliked. It will only go badly quickly.

  2. Charlie says:

    The above is almost a contradiction. You acknowledge The Special One is a good manager but ‘Pool fans don’t want him.

    There aren’t exactly a ton of world-class managers out there. Who would you want to replace Rafa? I’m not having a go at you here, the question is sincere.

    While I believe Rafa will finish the season, I also think he’s gone-daddy-gone when it’s over. Too much stuff has gone down, as the cliche goes. I honestly don’t see Liverpool getting past Inter in the first UEFA KO round and that would ultimately seal Benitez’s fate.

    I would agree that if Mourinho were to get the Liverpool gig, he’ll have some damage control work to do as a result of stuff that happened during his time at Chelsea. But what if Mourinho leads Liverpool to silverware, will Kopites hate him then? I somehow don’t think so. Like Sir Alex once said, “Winning is a fantastic elixer of life.”

  3. deepak prasad says:

    I am strongly believing that ‘Pool fans are expecting more from their team. Only way is to bring the ‘revelation’ Jose. He is a good tactician and he can raise the spirit of the team by signing few new players. As I am a fan of EPL I would like to see more teams for the “Title Race” and challenge the leaders.

    Currently the way Liverpool is not playing any attractive football.We can really see that they are struggling to win matches.

    Also Liverpool’s new owners Gillette and Hicks should show more interest in taking their team to a level in which they can be challenge other European clubs, surely they have to spent some money in the near future. Liverpool FC all the very best.

  4. Garry Tay says:

    Sure, the so called Rafalution has lead us KOPS to 2 CL finals in 3 season but what of it? We’ve been in the CL for years now, won once in ’05 in a span of 21 years since ’84. And what of the coveted league cup? 18 years on and counting, empty handed. Is it his goatee or the rotation policy that’s affecting the club?

    Problem is, Rafa has been buying far too many players in and having most of them loaned out while the better back-ups stay in reserve and training. Which is why I standby Gillette and Hicks (who knows apparently better than Benitez ) to get the results before splashing further in January.

    He’s gone berserk with the buying and still under-performing in the FA cup, let alone the league.

    But with Mourinho, he’s brought out the best in Terry and in the event he does take the helm at Liverpool, I’m certain he would do the same (if not better) with one or two of our very own.

    It’s simple to hate the bloke (mourinho) all because he used to have endless buying power at his disposal.

    Without a doubt he’ll be a force to reckon with and all the better a world class tactician in him. And like Charlie said and I couldn’t agree better, “But what if Mourinho leads Liverpool to silverware, will Kopites hate him then?”

    Take us home Mourinho.

  5. barney says:

    i rekon the special one s the only way fowar for the team, when i was a kid it was more unusual to see liverpool lose than win, we need to bring back them days

  6. John says:

    Before Liverpool won the Champions League all supporters would have said that the Champions League was the most important win, Now after victory, it is simply a nice to have.

    The Champions League is the ULTIMATE, although the concern is that credibility is waivered owing to not accomplish a win in the league as well. That is why it has NOW become important to win the league.

    Chelsea, United and Arsenal would give up any one of their league titles to win the Champions League.

    Benitez is the best manager in the world, after 3 years he has accomplished unbelievable results. Ferguson and Arsene Wenger required many more years to build their winning teams.

    My concern and I would hope the rest of the Liverpool supporters, is the loss of Benitez. This will set Liverpool back at least 10 years. All great teams need great managers. Each manager has their own distinct style of play and to remove our manager, ultimately results in the break up of the team.

    This rotation nonsense is exactly that, the stats have been looked at by Tomkins and he has disproved this. Read Tomkins’ post.
    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/archivedirs/news/2007/aug/8/NG156624070808-1304.htm

    As further proof; After the CL record victory the same team was kept, and we almost drew, that was until Benitez made his substitutions (tactical genius) to change the game once again.

    VIVA Benitez

    And From Wikipedia
    “Benítez became only the third manager, after Bob Paisley and José Mourinho, to win the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League in successive seasons. He is also the first manager to achieve this with two different clubs.” And then a CL final the following season.
    “Valencia CF won La Liga with three games to go … Despite this success, Benítez fell out with Jesus Garcia Pitarch, the club’s director of sport, over control of new signings and the club’s failure to reinforce the squad with the players he wanted.These differences of opinion saw Benítez resign as Valencia CF coach in June 2004.”

  7. Edward Kilroe says:

    Jose Mourinho right move. With him they will win a trophy every season

  8. Mikey2008 says:

    At least Liverpool will have the gutsy attitude when facing ManU cos the Sly One has struggle to beat the Special One on many occasions..Even Houllier has a better record against Fergie.

  9. sophie says:

    josemay be hated by alot of people but when he takes liverpool to the top i think everyone will change there minds about him! he is will be a big improvement to liverpool and he is one the best managers there is is! i think liverpool will do well with him!!

  10. joe says:

    i think jose mourhinio should have a chance of liverpool manger because raffa benitez has had too long he shouldnt of put players in the wrong positsion so i think mourhino will make a differance if not im not surpporting them

  11. Anant says:

    personally, i dont think any step that they take can be backward from where we stand right now. The situation rafa has left the team in makes it seem like any change is good change.
    Mourinho has shown what he is capable of before and his attitude might just be what it takes to get us out of this slump that we are in right now.
    It has been a very long time since i could celebrate a liverpool victory for 2 to 3 matches straight, and i want those days back.
    it is sad to think that riise and kuyt might leave but some company for torres up front will be a welcome sight.
    well, i just hope the end justifies the means.
    cheers.

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