Mourinho must be wary of his third season syndrome.
Every third season, something happens to Jose Mourinho that has become the stuff of legend. It is what has been termed the third-season syndrome, wherein his teams capitulate under the intense pressure he puts them under. He loses his dressing room, results start going south and then he leaves the club under a cloud and now, Top bookmakers believe that he won’t escape it at Old Trafford. It happened at Chelsea during his both spells as well as Real Madrid.
It is almost becoming a cliché and it is best he puts a stop to it this time around. Mourinho is the kind of man who is demanding. He expects high levels of performances from his players every time and is also a perfectionist. However, the modern game has given more power to the players who have to be pampered almost as much as they are being pressurized. Sadly it is one lesson that Jose hasn’t learnt so well.
In his third season at Real Madrid, he alienated a host of top players such as Iker Casillas and Pepe, which made him lose the dressing room. The results suffered and by the time he left the Spanish capital, there was a collective sigh of relief. Same happened in his previous job at Chelsea.
He was sacked just months after winning the league, as he fell out with top players and overseeing the worst title defence of a league title so far. He is under pressure heading into next season, but he must channel that pressure in the right way. He must be careful of his comments in the press conferences, must not leave his players out to dry and must be focused on winning the league.
All other distractions will see him making mistakes. One thing that has affected Mourinho thus far in his career is that his players become mentally and physically exhausted of his methods in the third season, which many have attributed to the syndrome. There is a lot at stake for Jose this summer and he must not bungle it. People from outside are waiting to see if he has changed or whether he’s still the same.
Anything short of winning the league would be disaster come next term, and Jose will be wise not to be self-destructive. The Albert Einsteins will be waiting.