Tony Cascarino reflects on Jose Mourinho's first press conference

Last Updated: 11/06/13 10:06am

Former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino was intrigued to see a reserved Jose Mourinho address an English press conference for the first time since returning to Stamford Bridge.

Upon his first appointment as Blues boss in 2004, the Portuguese dubbed himself 'The Special One' in arguably the most famous opening media gambit in football management history. The sequel was a more modest affair.

Having failed to repeat his 2011/12 La Liga-winning heroics, Mourinho left previous employers Real Madrid in a sea of criticism - in stark contrast to the blaze of glory in which he arrived in west London nine years ago, newly decorated as a Champions League-winning manager with Porto.

Cascarino accredited his relatively-subdued responses to the damage done by a troublesome campaign at the Bernabeu, telling Sky Sports News: "For Mourinho (it was) very bland, very humble. The scars of Real Madrid's season were clearly evident. I think he spoke about the brashness with which he arrived at Chelsea the first time and he's changed, big style.

"He's reflecting on some of the mistakes and it was very bland but it's still intriguing. He's so fixed on being a different kind of guy and I think it's to do with the season at Real Madrid. That has put strain on him as a manager. There weren't too many smiles and only the odd cheeky little quirk.

"He is a guy who thinks he needs to prove. Before, he came in and said he was the special one and the king of Europe and a champion. Now he's not, because he's not. Last season was full of emptiness for him. He didn't achieve anything.

"He feels he wants to challenge on a regular basis. It would be very difficult for him to be the same kind of guy and a journalist to put their hand up and point out that he didn't win anything last season. He's openly admitted it was the worst year of his football management career."


One of the major talking points of his return has been his relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, a relationship that appeared broken beyond repair when Mourinho left acrimoniously in 2007.

But Cascarino said: "It must be better for them to patch up their differences. He spoke about it being a mutual agreement to go separate ways and now they've resolved their differences.

"For Abramovich, he must have met Mourinho and thought 'you've changed.' The experiences of life make you change. The confidence and the arrogance is nowhere near as when he first walked in the door, because he knocked the house down and barged into the football club.

"He wants unity. He is speaking long term, which is pretty impossible to do at Chelsea because nobody ever got to a long term plan there. It's a different Mourinho, it really is.

"Football clubs are so different. They're run as huge businesses, organisations that employ a huge amount of people. You can't manage the whole lot on your own."


As for the brand of football Mourinho will bring to the Bridge, Cascarino feels suggestions that he will be aiming for his trademark tactical masterpieces over free-flowing attacking football are hasty.

The ex-Republic of Ireland international said: "With the philosophy of football, there has to be excitement and anyone who's watched Madrid over the last couple of years can't say they weren't exciting. They scored close to 100 goals this year and were champions last year. Madrid didn't have one 1-0 all season - there were goals in all the games. That's the philosophy - excitement, but win.

"What we have learned since Barcelona took control of football is that you can be really exciting and you can win. Barcelona did it, Bayern Munich have done it, Borussia Dortmund came close to it and Real Madrid have been a side that have been exciting and won the league. You can have both.

"This guy is hurt from this season. I don't want to keep going back on it but he has a point to prove and I'd be amazed if he's not hungrier than ever. There's nothing like defeat and coming second to make you want to come back and knock people off the pedestal.

"They've got the structure of a very good side so they don't need to get too much. There isn't going to be 10 players in and 10 players out. I think there's going to be a few big players coming in and a few younger players for the future, but the structure is good and I don't think there's going to be wholesale changes."