After suffering a humiliating home defeat to Ajax, Real Madrid will be looking for an overhaul in the summer transfer window. It has been argued that the side may need to bring in one or two “Galacticos” to help rejuvenate the squad. The side is clearly aging. Players like Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos are have not displayed the necessary skills to keep Real Madrid competing for silverware. Mistakes made by Florentino Perez have caused more harm than good for the club. The decision to sign Thibaut Courtois when a very capable Keylor Navos was already in the side was a waste of funds. Ronaldo’s departure left a gaping hole in the team’s creativity and finishing ability, and it was hoped that Gareth Bale would fill his shoes. Unfortunately, Bale has failed to take advantage of the opportunity. The future starlet winger, Vinicius Junior, is out injured for the remainder of the season. All the while, Real Madrid fans were shouting Jose Mourinho’s name in the street. Would Mourinho really be the answer for all of Madrid’s woes?
First off it is important to note that Mourinho is not seen as the answer by all Real Madrid fans, but the fact that his name is even mentioned as possibly returning to the club is thought provoking. He experienced success during his time in Madrid from 2010 to 2013 winning La Liga in 2012, however he did not manage to take Real Madrid to Champions League glory. Although the prospect of getting to accomplish this feat with Real would be enticing to Mourinho, the club seem a far way off from where they were a year ago. Sergio Ramos was missing in action during Real’s loss to Ajax, and his leadership and quality was sorely missed to help see Los Blancos through. Ramos is also now 32 years old, and Luka Modric is getting up in age. Benzema is 31 years old, and needs help from wide players to open up space for him in the final third.
Jose Mourinho would be facing a rebuild situation where numerous players would be leaving the club and additions to the squad would need to be intelligent and strategic. Perhaps Real should focus on developing younger talent like Vinicius Junior, which has not been something that Mourinho is known for. Maybe Madrid should scrap the Galacitcos strategy, which was the tradition of expensive high profile stars signing for Real Madrid?
Mourinho has been a manager that is better suited for shorter stints with a team that is already on the verge of winning competitions. This Real Madrid team should be after a manager that could see a rebuild through over the next couple of seasons. Real will always have the pressure to compete for trophies, but hiring a certain manager is a great way to signal their intentions to the fan base. Hiring Mourinho would send the message that the club still thinks that it could win titles next season as well as competing for the Champions League. This would not be in the long term interest of the club. The club should be competing for La Liga next year but having manager that is known for only being able to get the best out of his players for a few seasons is foolhardy. Perhaps a year or two is necessary to build a squad with talent that could compete for the next seven to ten years. It would not be a popular decision, but a necessary one. Unfortunately Perez has shown very little sign of wanting to exercise prudence and patience.
A move to Real Madrid would also not be in the best interest of Jose Mourinho. After being unceremoniously fired from his previous two positions in the Premier League, Mourinho’s “The Special One” reputation has taken quite a hit. His ability to enhance the locker room atmosphere, develop young talent, and recently compete for the top trophies has so far eluded him. Mourinho is still one of the best managers, but he needs to be coaching in a situation where there is not already angst and discontent amongst the supporters. Mourinho needs the tools to build a squad that fits to his liking, but with Florentino Perez being a very visible figure, it would be likely that Perez’ opinions would take precedence over Mourinho’s.
Santiago Solari has been unable to get the best out of this Real Madrid side. While the team is a shell of what they were just last season, they are still better than a 4-1 home defeat to Ajax in a competition that has brought Real so much success in the past. Ronaldo’s goals have been missed, and needs to be replaced, which Perez failed to even attempt to do last summer. Solari should be given at least next season to bring in a refreshed squad to make one more run, but should he fail then at least Real Madrid would have the pieces in place to compete in the 2020/21 season.
Jose Mourinho is still a gifted coach, but the right fit for Real Madrid, he is not. Mourinho should turn his attention toward other opportunities that would help him rebuild his reputation. The last thing that Real Madrid need is a divisive figure leading the locker room. Mourinho would command attention and scrutiny, which is already being taken up by Perez. He does not need the drama that would find him and be magnified in Madrid. Whether a better opportunity in Italy, France, or for an International team manifests itself, Mourinho should do what is best for his career, and at this time it would not involve become the manager of Real Madrid.