Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday in a crucial Premier League clash for both sides.
The Red Devils currently sit in second in the table, only three points above the defending champions, who themselves are only one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.
Finishing in the top four means UEFA Champions League football which is a big deal in terms of prestige and attracting new world class stars over the summer.
José Mourinho has faced some criticism from both the media and fans this season for the style of football his United side are playing. The Portuguese coach has come under a lot of stick this past week following his side’s ultra-defensive performance in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie.
The United boss has won it previously – the first occasion with FC Porto in 2004, which landed him the Chelsea job that summer. He would later win it in his second season at Internazionale in 2010.
However, Mourinho has failed to win the trophy in two spells at Chelsea, as well as in three seasons at Real Madrid. And since winning the trophy for the first time back in 2004 a number of top managers have since started their careers.
Zinedine Zidane, Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Antonio Conte and Unai Emery weren’t managers back in 2004, whilst Massimiliano Allegri had just completed his first season as a manager.
How did José Mourinho compare versus the top six years ago compared to today? The table below reveals all:
His first jobs at Benfica and UD Leiria didn’t last a full season and with both teams not being title contenders that season. Mourinho turned his form and career around at FC Porto after joining in January 2002 – winning the title in each of his first two seasons in charge, and the Champions League in the latter.
At FC Porto José Mourinho won all 12 of his league matches at the Estádio do Dragão against the top six and 70% of his matches against the same opponents.
OK, so the Primeira Liga is not very competitive and that Porto team is one of the best in Portuguese history – fair enough. Move on to Chelsea. In his first three-and-a-bit-year spell in England, Mourinho won 67% of his home matches versus fellow top six opponents, making the West London club Premier League champions for the first time.
In fact, during his second spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho won 75% of his home matches. In between that he had home win records of 60% and 79% at Internazionale (2 seasons) and Real Madrid (3 seasons) respectively.
Now on to José Mourinho’s current job at Manchester United. If we take the current Premier League standings to include his results versus the current top six, then the United boss has won just 43% – much lower than any of the other big clubs he has taken charge of.
Away from home has been a bit hit and miss for the successful manager. He never won a game at any of the top six during his short spells in charge at Benfica and UD Leiria, whilst he posted a 36% win record on the road at FC Porto.
That win percentage increased during his time at Chelsea -50% during his first spell, before dropping down to 30% during his two years at Internazionale. His best record on the road came with Real Madrid where he won 63% of his trips to the La Liga’s top six over a three-year period which included a 100-point season in the middle.
Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea was less than spectacular as the Blues won just 23% of their away games. However, it’s getting even worse at United. Their 3-1 win at Arsenal earlier their campaign is the only top six team he has beaten in the Premier League away from Old Trafford.
Is Mourinho on the decline?