Mourinho gives Interisti false hope

Posted by Mike Whittaker

This week, the self-titled 'Special One', Jose Mourinho, flirted again with the emotions of the Inter faithful. this in turn has ignited speculation the treble-winning coach could make a surprise return to the Giuseppe Meazza this summer.

In a video for Gazzetta Dello Sport, Mourinho made clear his devotion for the black-and-blue side of Milan: "I had two fantastic years in Italy with my Inter FC, you never know - maybe I'll be back one day. If I do, it will be with great pleasure and great emotion."

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For the majority of Interisti, this statement brings huge hope, especially considering the dismal few years we've experienced since that bittersweet day when we saw Inter become European champions for the first time in 46 years, as well as making history as the first Italian team to win the coveted treble.

That day was tarnished, however, by the fact that the man who helped the club realise its dream would not return to Milan to celebrate with the trophy. Instead, he preferred instead to jump straight into his new job at the stadium where the victory was achieved.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear how much of a Mourinho fan I am. I have considered him one of the best coaches I have ever witnessed since watching his famous run with FC Porto that ended with them lifting the Champions League trophy.

As you can imagine, I was on cloud nine when Massimo Moratti announced Mourinho was to replace Roberto Mancini at Inter just four years later. I knew then that his attention to detail and superb reading of the game would lead the Nerazzurri to great things.

However, I do not think it would be a wise move for him to return to Inter this summer, or even any time in the near future! I realise this is could be controversial, but I will try to explain why.

For me, Mourinho's achievements at Inter are the greatest in the club's history, even though he was only there two seasons. He made the world take notice of the Nerazzurri, who have in recent history been considered European underdogs.

His history speaks volumes about the success he can bring to a club. After all, since 2002, he has not gone a single season without his team claiming at least one trophy. He has accumulated seven league titles, two Champions League trophies and a UEFA Cup as a manager, not to mention 10 other trophies won in domestic competitions.

The only two club titles missing from his collection are a European SuperCup and the Club World Cup (although he was the man to put Inter in position to win it in 2010).

These feats are all the more impressive when you see they were achieved with just his last four clubs -- Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid. Of these, arguably, his greatest success came at the club he claims to love more than any other -- the Nerazzurri. “Inter is an incredible family and that is the Moratti family. There was an extraordinary group and I had two fantastic years on a personal level."

It is this unprecedented success that, in my opinion, makes a return to the club almost impossible. Why? Simply because the expectations to achieve instant success would not only have a detrimental effect on a team that is still in transition, but if he failed to live up to what would be expected, his status as one of the club's legendary coaches would be tarnished for all time.

I personally would rather keep him on a pedestal as possibly the best the club has ever seen, than have him return for a season or two and be remembered for not reaching the same standard the second time around.

How do I know he wouldn't take the club back to the top? The Inter squad he would inherit this time around isn't anywhere near the standard of the one he managed last time. Also, it is widely considered that Mourinho is only great when he has vastly experienced and big-name players at his disposal -- just look at the squads he has been successful with in the past.

I would even go as far as to say that for all his greatness, tactical genius, and man-management prowess, he only thinks about the short-term future of a squad, not how to regenerate it for years to come. I can't knock him for this philosophy; after all, he only stays at a club for two or three seasons before moving on in search of his next big challenge.

This conflicts greatly with the ongoing project of building a future with young and fairly low-cost players Inter is working toward. This lack of forward thinking by Mourinho was evident in the demise of Inter's dominance following his exit. I have always said that for a man who lives for new challenges, he missed the opportunity to take on the greatest challenge of his career when he left Inter, instead of trying to rebuild the aging squad and repeat his success.

As it turns out, his decision to leave Inter has somewhat backfired on him, and his time in Madrid hasn't been as productive or as happy as he would have hoped. Now, three years later, it once again looks likely the Special One will be heading for his next challenge with a return to the English Premiership being touted as his likely destination.

His constant references to Inter and his love for the club indeed make a move back to Milan look possible. But you have to remember this man is the master of mind games and regardless of his great memories of Inter, he has said in the past he dislikes the attitudes and ways of the Italian league.

In March 2010 he said: "It is a simple situation, I am happy at Inter, but unhappy with Italian football." He went on to say "I do not like it (Italian football) because it doesn't like me."

For what it's worth, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mourinho follow his old nemesis Pep Guardiola to the Bundesliga next season, although I am almost certain his next challenge will be at the helm of the mega-money club from the French capital - Paris Saint-Germain.

Wherever Mourinho ends up next season, I wish him all the best, and I hope he continues to support Inter as much as the fans. Who knows -- one day, once the Nerazzurri have been reborn and possesses a top-calibre squad again, maybe he will return to repeat the legendary treble success of 2010.

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