Who Should Coach Inter Next Season? Part 4: Antonio Conte Or José Mourinho?

Who Should Coach Inter Next Season? Part 4: Antonio Conte Or José Mourinho?
May 8, 2019 10:30
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Inter coach Spalletti has led the Nerazzurri, from being a side that has failed to play in the Champion’s League for large part of the past decade, to returning to the competition two years in a row, but it has been anything but smooth sailing.

In the first three parts of this article series, the argument as to why Spalletti must be sacked was put forward as well presenting a detailed analysis of both Antonio Conte and José Mourinho as replacements.

In this piece, the final conclusion is drawn based on what has been discusses in previous articles.

Who Fits Inter Better Right Now?

Looking back at both managers recent failures, Antonio Conte’s behavior against the club’s management when there is a disagreement, is similar to that of Luciano Spaletti and exactly what Inter are need to get away from. Considering how Spalletti handled Icardi situation after the Lazio draw and Conte’s handling of Diego Costa after winning the title, where both managers went against the desire of the club and criticized the player and management alike, these are prime examples, where managers put their own egos ahead of what’s important and best for the club in question.

Every manager requires players from the club’s management who best fit his system. Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti, all have a preferred style of play and need players who best suit their system.

However, not all their requests gets fulfilled. Looking back at their track record over the years, Conte quit Juventus few weeks before season was scheduled to start over a dispute with the club hierarchy over failed transfer moves. At Chelsea he continuously criticized the management for not providing him with the players he requested and in the case of Diego Costa, he put his own needs ahead of what was best for the club and alienated a prolific striker who led his team to a league title.

Mourinho also criticized the management at Manchester United as Ed Woodward repeatedly failed to deliver his targets Rafael Varane and Jerome Boateng to strengthen the defense. However, he has never alienated any player and always has put team first ahead of any player. By now it’s the worst kept secret that Paul Pogba did not get along with Jose Mourinho and the special one himself admitted in an interview on bein sports that the relationship lacked chemistry and that it is “one of the things I want to analyse in detail and to try to understand this situation better, you need to care more about the relations with the ones you don’t like. Because the ones you like and the ones who love you, you don’t need to feed it every day and every moment because it’s something you have for granted. Human nature is human nature.”

The locker room troubles at Old Trafford started with Paul Pogba’s differences with Mourinho and it created a toxic environment within the team which ultimately led to Mourinho’s departure. Looking at the way Pogba performed earlier on under Solskjaer, it was clear that he was not trying, he quit mentally. He wasn’t playing for Mourinho, and as a professional football player he has proven that the brand of Paul Pogba is more important than the jersey he puts on. After the dismissal of Mourinho, many United players shared touching messages on social media, thanking Mourinho for what he’s done for them. Pogba on the other hand created a controversy by sharing a picture of himself smirking and asking the followers to caption it.

Recently, Pogba has come under similar criticism as he faced while Mourinho was in charge, this time under Solskjaer, however none more scathing than comments from former Manchester United captain Roy Keane after a loss in the Manchester Derby, “we are saying the same thing over and over again, he’s a talented boy but the number of times I’ve seen him in game where he is not running back or sprinting back. Talk about body language, he’s constantly throwing his arms in the air, he is a BIG problem for United.”

Furthermore Keane went on to say that you need senior players on the team to lead by example and that Pogba is actually a bad influence for the team from what he sees. Pogba’s success at United has been very sporadic and removing Mourinho as manager has not solved the problem, clearly indicating that he wasn’t the only problem in the locker room. Pobga’s diva-esque attitude has been on display after Mourinho’s departure as well, clearly showing that he is part of the broader problem which still exists today.

Mourinho’s greatest asset in all his teams has always been his relationship with all his players and he uses that to get the best out of them and they have been willing to spill blood for him on the field. He is on record admitting his mistakes and recognizes that he needs to learn from this experience and spend more time to develop relationship with players who he isn’t getting along with such as Pogba at United. His record of success and trophies everywhere he has gone is a a testament to his ability to learn from his mistakes and adapt accordingly. Compare this with Conte’s quote saying “this is who I am, I cannot change” when asked about why Chelsea was struggling during his second season in charge as manager.

The philosophy of no player is bigger than the team has been the foundation of Mourinho’s successful teams at multiple clubs and it’s one which current Inter director Beppe Marotta is pushing for, highlighted by his masterful handling of the Mauro Icardi saga.

Mourinho strives on pulling the team together in a us-against-the-world mentality. He thrives on relationships he’s established with his players. All Inter fans remember his tearful embrace of Marco Materazzi outside Bernabeau after winning the treble.

Chelsea fans remember fondly his bond with club legends John Terry, Frank Lampard, Micheal Essien, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba. After a year where the Inter squad had divisions and factions of players stemming from Italy, the Balkans and South America leading to players feuding with each other, going forward the team desperately needs a manager who will unite everyone and put the team ahead of the players individual brands.

Conte’s time at Chelsea has shown that he is stubborn in his ways, failing to adapt his style to address the needs of the team, not relying on established relationships with his players. This is completely the opposite of what Inter needs at this point in time.

Mourinho will not only unite the team but also get them fighting for the good of the club instead of their individual targets. His pragmatic style built on strong defense and counter-attacking football is the DNA of the club and he’s taken the club to the summit of European football by winning the treble in 2010.

However, for him to succeed, he will need to reconsider some of his methods and learn to adapt to the changing times and that in the age of social media, he must learn to better handle the inflated egos of the superstars whom he is trusted to lead.

Do you agree with the conclusions drawn? Do you want Inter to keep Spalletti? If not who should replace him: Mourinho or Conte?

Let us now in the comments below.

Bilal Mirza
By Bilal Mirza

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