Jose Mourinho will return better than ever after a rest, says Ian Holloway
Holloway: "In my lifetime of trying to be a manager myself, all I can do is admire him. But in recent years he hasn't looked the same Jose. Those eyes aren't sparkling like they were when he first came over and said he was the special one."
Last Updated: 18/01/19 6:52am
Ian Holloway thinks Jose Mourinho will return to football better than ever but only after taking a break from the game.
Mourinho said on Tuesday that he still "belongs to top football" despite being sacked by Manchester United and that he is "too young" to retire.
"I want to coach," he said on BeIN SPORTS. "I am too young, I am in football for a long, long time but I will be 56 in a couple of weeks and am really too young. Where I am going to stay is where I belong, I belong to top football. I belong to top-level football and (that) is where I am going to be."
Holloway thinks Mourinho will eventually return to the top of the game but only after a rest.
"He needs a rest," Holloway told The Debate. "If you look at him over the last few months he hasn't looked right.
"In my lifetime of trying to be a manager myself, all I can do is admire him. But in recent years he hasn't looked the same Jose. Those eyes aren't sparkling like they were when he first came over and said he was the special one.
"Maybe sometimes you just need a break," he added. "He's been fighting at the top for so long and he's almost having a fight with himself or his owners and that's coming over onto the players.
"That has then been affecting what his actual role is, which is to make people believe in themselves, enjoy their game and get better.
"When he first came over to this country he was a breath of fresh air. He made Frank Lampard who Frank Lampard is and he made John Terry who he is. But now he bought Paul Pogba and he didn't want to play for him so there is an issue somewhere.
"I'd like him to have a rest and I do believe he will come back even stronger and even better."
Former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham thinks Mourinho's man-management skills eventually cost him his job at Old Trafford, saying United now have a sense of freedom under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian, who was installed as caretaker boss following the departure of Mourinho, has made the most successful start of any manager in the club's history with six wins from his opening six games.
"The frustrating thing from Mourinho's perspective will be that the system Solskjaer's now playing, he played earlier in the season and had great success," Higginbotham said.
"He then changed to a back three against West Ham and that seemed to be the beginning of the downfall, where it started to go wrong for him.
"There seems to be a real sense of freedom among the team now.
"I was delighted when Mourinho came to the club because I thought he could pick them up again. He did well at first but then it dropped off.
"Towards the end he would pick battles with players and that is not going to help. Gone are the days when you can dig out individuals and expect them still to respond in a positive manner.
"If you look at all the top managers now, the strongest thing in their armoury is man-management skills. Solskjaer has gone in and said 'you are all good players, how can I get you into the team and play to your strengths?'."