Jose Mourinho is a controversial yet one of the successful managers in the modern era. Critics dislike his team playing style but the truth he had been so successful with his style where ever he went. He come to fame with FC Porto, proclaiming himself as the special one when he had moved to Chelsea, making Internazionale as the first Italian team to win a treble, wrested the Primera Liga for Real Madrid from arguably one the greatest club team in the modern era Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona while scoring 121 goals a Spanish league record, making Chelsea the champion again on the his second term and finally for now making Manchester United the first English team to won all the major honour when had helped them to lift the UEFA Cup in 2017.
However, for his managerial success come one of most talked part of his managerial career and that is no other than the famed 3rd season. The talk of his 3rd season was started when he was with Chelsea on the second time where on his 3rd season, he had some fighting with the medical staff and player does not follow his instruction which he had claimed that the player had stabbed his back and finally a slumping and poor performance for Manchester United on his 3rd season.
When looked on Mourinho managerial career, it can be divided into 2 parts where one is pre-Real Madrid and post Real Madrid. As most of the football fan had known, Mourinho had come into the picture as one of the upcoming managers when his FC Porto team had knocked out Manchester United in the first ever second-round knockout stage in 2004. Before the knockout stage, the second round will usually be a group stage and UEFA had decided that starting from 2004 UCL season onwards the second round will be decided in a knockout stage. After Jose Mourinho had made FC Porto the UCL champion, he had become the new Chelsea manager under the ambitious new Chelsea owner Roman Abromovich. On the press conference, he had confidently described himself as the special one in the league where experience manager like Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger as in charge of their respected but however he made Chelsea the league champion for first since 1955 with a brilliant and superb performance throughout the league season. Since then the English media loved to call him as the Special One.
However, during his time with FC Porto and Chelsea the 3rd syndrome was non-existent, but he had been described as a short-term manager. The only exception on his managerial career where he does not have the 3rd season is with Internazionale and FC Porto where he had left them after making Inter the first Italian club to win the treble and led FC Porto to become the European Champion. After making an astonishing achievement with Internazionale, he had joined Real Madrid and here the talk about his 3rd season had started and attached to him until now. After successfully winning the Spanish Super Cup in the first season and successfully winning the Primera Liga with Madrid, he failed to win a single trophy for the first time in his managerial career on his Madrid 3rd season. Although he does not win any trophy on his 3rd season with Real Madrid, he still managed to make them to progress to UCL semi-final only to be knocked out by Borussia Dortmund.
After Real Madrid, his second term with Chelsea and his final term for now with Manchester United where the 3rd season had become one of the things that will be associated with him. With Chelsea on his second term, he had made them won the Premier League on the second year. However, in the 3rd season, everything had been derailed as Chelsea slumped to a 13th place and internal fighting with the player and with the medical staff that had led Chelsea to sack him. With United, on the first season, everything is positive as he made United won the UEFA Cup and in the second season, he failed to win any trophy as the superbly managed Manchester City had created record after record to win the Premier League title and in the UCL they had been knocked out by Sevilla. On the 3rd season, United whom had to spend nearly 700 million and with World Cup winner Paul Pogba, United performance was awful and was comprehensively beaten by Manchester City and Liverpool and they had slumped to 6th position. And again, like Chelsea before, United had sacked him.
On this 3rd season pre-Madrid, Mourinho was not so bad as with Chelsea he had won the FA Cup to become the first foreign manager to win all trophy in England in a short period of time and his 3rd season is non-existent in his FC Porto and Internazionale career. Player had been rumored to shed a tear when they had known Mourinho is leaving during his time with Chelsea, FC Porto, and Internazionale. However, post-Madrid where his 3rd season syndrome had started. With Madrid, he had an internal bust-up with Madrid star player like Sergio Ramos, Christiano Ronaldo and making some unpopular decision to bench the club legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas. During his time with Madrid, the El Classico is an ugly and brutal encounter like a war. The Spanish media had said the Mourinho is cancer to Spanish football. Before Madrid, the player had shed a tear when saw him leaving but on the post-Madrid player is happy to see him leaving. It had also been rumored that in the current season after Madrid had sacked Santiago Solari, Fiorentino Perez wants Mourinho but the disapproval among the players and also chances of mutiny had led Perez to choose Zidane.
The bust-up with the player, medical staff, scouts and others had been exploded to the peak in his 3rd season all have the roots after Real Madrid. For reason known to him and the player, the team will not perform at their best and will slump badly example Chelsea and Manchester United. With United, after Mourinho had been sacked, United had performed exceptionally well under the new manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and now United is competing for the top 4 finish and in the UCL quarter-final since 2014 which they had been knocked out by Barcelona. The difference in the performance is big and with Mourinho in charge, the team had slumped and performed so badly that they even struggle to beat on top 6 team and performed badly against the top 6 sides in the league.
In an interview with Bein Sports, he had said that he does not want to have any internal or external bust-up with the player anymore and if he had changed his attitude towards the player, maybe they will another part of this career where it will after Manchester United, where his 3rd season syndrome vanishes altogether. For now, Mourinho 3rd season syndrome is a thing that will be stumbling block for others to hire him as a manager.