Rob Beasley’s book – Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal – has already caused a stir in the footballing community. That being said, given its in-depth look into the sport’s most controversial coach, there can be no surprises there.
The publication is absolutely littered with inside information about the Special One with one of which proving his relation to the England job.
While rumours of the Portuguese having a chance to take over the reins for the Three Lions is nothing new, what went wrong has finally been revealed. If it wasn’t for the FA, Mourinho may just have been manager.
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The early weeks of the 2007-08 season saw Mourinho’s first spell at Chelsea come to a sorry end. However, albeit being emotional upon his exit, it wasn’t long before he was on the hunt for his next job.
Beasley, in his book, reiterates this by recalling a memorable text he received. The author explains: “I reached for my mobile phone, opened up the message and saw it was from my man, Mourinho. It read simply: ‘Is the England job interested in me?’
"I knew what my answer would be — ‘YES!’ I was pretty sure England fans would have the same response.
“The FA was another matter, though, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I decided to find out.”
Therefore, there is strong reason to suggest that Mourinho was appetised by the thought of becoming England manager. Moreover, it is safe to assume that supporters would have been enthusiastic about the move given the Special One’s formidable track record.
However, despite the seemingly win-win prospect of hiring the 53-year-old, the FA delayed the deal greatly. This was in part a consequence of Steve McLaren’s sacking and the administrative issues that came with it.
Nonetheless, Beasley goes onto explain: “This being the FA, though, matters did not proceed with any speed. As the days dragged by, Jose was frustrated and impatient because he subsequently sent me a second message: ‘Still no news from FA.’
“Privately, he felt the job was his and even spoke of taking control straight after Christmas before explaining to me that it was the clamour from England’s fans and players that had convinced him.
“The FA cleared the decks for an imminent announcement.
“But as I was driving down the M40 that Saturday for a game at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho texted me and my heart sank. It began: ‘Don’t go so far with that England story…’”
The FA had delayed so much that Mourinho had become tired of waiting and a fantastic offer from Inter Milan had arrived. Ultimately, as we know, he pounced upon the opportunity to manage at the San Siro.
While missing out on the England job has clearly proved little detriment to Mourinho’s career, it must remain a huge regret for the FA.
The Three Lions had come within weeks of securing one of the best managers of his generation. Consequently, it must be wondering whether England could have gone far in proceeding tournaments under his wing.
However and rather unfortunately, it appears that we’ll never know.
Do you think Jose Mourinho would have been successful as England manager? Have YOUR say in the comment box below