In the lead in to the game against Chelsea today, it’s pretty obvious that our manager Alan Pardew is a big admirer of Jose Mourinho, who learned his management skills from a certain Sir Bobby Robson, while Bobby was managing on the continent and at Barcelona in particular, back in 1996 and 1997.
Bobby and Jose at Barcelona – circa 1997
In fact Jose was lucky to be with Bobby Robson for a number of years, and first started working for the great one (Bobby that is) back in 1992, when Robson managed Sporting Lisbon, and Jose was his Portuguese interpreter.
Alan Pardew talked about the other great one today – Jose Mourinho:
“If you’re a football person and you can’t love what he’s about then you can’t love the game or what he does. He makes me laugh.“ “I think they’ve spent a lot of money on top of the group they already had. If you can do without Romelu Lukaku then you’ve got a good team. The fact they could do that spoke volumes.”
“What Jose does, which goes undetected because of his personality where he can be humorous and articulate in the same sentence, what is sometimes forgotten is what he does on the training ground and the organisation and what he demands from his players.”
“One of the big stands he makes is commitment, absolute commitment. If they don’t offer that to him, then they don’t play. When you’ve got that at a big club then you’re going to get more results than not. Defensively he’s one of the best coaches there is and you can very rarely score three goals against them.”
Jose was not too successful while at Real Madrid, and this is where his style differs from that of Sir Bobby, who was always a gentleman when he won or when he lost – and it’s hard to say that about Jose.
And I remember like it was yesterday in September, 1999 when Bobby signed on at Newcastle, and I happened to be on my way back from a business trip in Shanghai, and was calling in to see my parents in Newcastle on the way back to the US – and got all the papers at London airport, before flying up to Tyneside, and read all about Bobby coming to Newcastle.
I also remember that visit well because my father had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and died that November.
And back to football, we were not disappointed at what the great one did as Newcastle manager, and in his final three seasons at Newcastle we finished 4th, 3rd and 5th – and then he was fired abruptly by Freddy Shepherd.
5th top just wasn’t good enough. 🙁
Oh to have a manager like Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle right now.
Now there’s a thought.