Thursday, 20 September 2007

Mourinho and the Myth of the Man Manager

(With apologies to Fred Brooks.) So Jose has gone. That's hardly a surprise, although the timing is interesting. English football will be better off without his swaggering arrogance. He typifies the myth that management is the business of heroes, that the individual is all important. The boring reality is that it is teamwork that is most often the deciding influence in football or business: Arsenal's players are worth a good deal less than Chelsea's, but because they play as a team, they are four places above Chelsea in the table. Sunderland under Roy Keane are another example: they punch above their weight (one hopes given Keane's reputation not literally so) because they have team spirit.

Mourinho's Chelsea were too often a collection of prima donnas, selfishly strutting around the pitch and not quite delivering. Let's hope we see a return to sportsmanship in sport, with the team seen as more important than the individual and team building as more than just shopping.

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