You and I were introduced to Jose Mourinho as a win-at-all-costs manager. He took gamesmanship and bus parking to a new level, one which was successful against more talented teams, but even for those to whom he delivered trophies, he was difficult to love. The rest of us emptied our store of contempt on him.
He is probably a better manager than I ever gave him credit for. It takes talent to go to some of the world’s most famously attacking football clubs and stifle the enthusiasm out of their stadiums, but he had the necessary.
The question is, would you have welcomed him at Celtic? I know what your gut’s saying. I feel the same right now, but this guy’s arrogance appears to be inexplicably intoxicating. He has a ‘movement’ on your doorstep, then you apologise for him having to step over it on his return. For a decade, he was the ultimate guru manager and those who believe in such things opened their hearts to him, even as they watched him rob the game of enjoyment.
On many levels, he is not as good a fit for Celtic than Brendan Rodgers, but he is box office and knows how to set out a back six better than any manager in the game. Years after regularly chanting, “Fergie, Fergie, shut your mouth”, Celtic fans are mostly respectful towards the former Aberdeen manager. We are not there with Mourinho yet, but it might happen.