Jose Mourinho has all but ruled himself out of the running for the Newcastle United job, stating he needs ‘structure’ and a ‘project’ where he ‘plays to win’ – not a club where finishing ‘7th, 8th or 9th’ is seen as ‘perfect’.
In all honesty, the former Man Utd, Chelsea and Madrid man was never going to join the club without a takeover, but, based on his comments, it’s hard to know if the job would appeal even if the Bin Zayed Group arrived.
This is a manager who’s not only used to getting what he wants, but someone who is a winner. Even if new owners arrived and backed him, it would take some time for us to break the top 6; and it doesn’t sound like that’s what he’s after right now.
Here’s what he’s had to say today when asked about the rumours linking him with the Newcastle job:
“The only thing that I know is what I don’t want: I am quite pathological in the sense of I have to play to win.
“Then, if I don’t win, then that’s my problem and the players and the club and the structure but I need a project where the feeling is I play to win.
“If somebody gives me a wonderful 10-year contract and the objective of the team is to stay in the first half of the table and if you finish seventh, eighth or ninth, it’s perfect, then that’s not for me. That’s my nature.”
Parts of this almost include a sly dig at the current regime, suggesting the club would be happy with a decent top half finish – something which is very true in the Ashley era.
If anything, it’s being kind to him. He’d bite your hand off for 17th each season, as long as we stay up!
Mourinho may appreciate Newcastle United, with him respecting the fans and having a special connection with the club after his time working under Sir Bobby, but there was no way he was ever coming should the current regime be in place.
If the Bin Zayed Group do complete a takeover, Rafa Benitez is the man we should be bringing back to this club – a world class manager, a man who ‘got us’, both as a club and city, and someone who stuck with us through thick and thin.