Why Portuguese coaches are rocking the world

A new era is arising in football and the world seems blind to it. All people seem to have noticed something different about José Mourinho and his teams. But he’s not the only one. We have another one of these “specimens” working and succeeding: André Villas Boas at FC Porto.

What do we have in common in these two situations? Simply: very young coaches, who were not successful football players, but are deep thinking scientific minds. Mourinho was formed in the FMH University, and already has a honorific PhD earned by the application of its principles to the game.

Every now and then history changes. And we have ruptures and new paradigms. I can give you the example about music. For many centuries tonal music dominated the western world. Until in the beginning of the XXth century a composer named Schoenberg founded a whole new theoretical system. Something completely new – a way of composing, with specific rules, mostly mathematical and very effective. We cannot measure its success by the outcome since in music, as a subjective art, we don’t have objective criteria. However, we can measure the production of the pieces and the followers and we can see that a whole group of people spend their lives making a living of music, being paid to it, performing and presenting pieces using this new theoretical and formal system. In a way the system worked for its goal: to make effective music.

Well, in football we’ve reached that point. We don’t have a Viennese School, but we have a Portuguese School of coaching founded by José Mourinho. Just read the books. Not the rubbish biographies on the master, noone cares about that (only pink press). The real scientific thesis on the subject. Its more of a philosophic empirical thing – a whole new concept about the training and the game. Mourinho has been called a “title not football coach”. And that’s correct.

Sirs, you may be baffled and dumbfounded but guess what, football it’s a game. With rules. And if you want to win the game you just have to do just that. You don’t have to put up a show. What a romantic ideal! José Mourinho couldn’t care less about the show. Contemporary art has alienated the spectators too. It’s a game! And we want to win it. So we will apply the best scientific knowledge and take advantage of all the rules and flaws within the system to win the game.

In a cup system we don’t even have to score goals to win! Where does that comes in the rules? We can draw every game 0-0 and go for penalties. You are not happy with that? Well, change the rules! So, the most important thing is NOT to suffer. Then we can think about scoring… as simple as that.

And then many, many other things apply. Exercises? Physical strength? Mourinho thinks most of the training people do in football nowadays is rubbish. Because people are not working for or to the game. People are just playing around and doing gym. That’s not the point.

Enough said. Mourinho developed an entire new system of approaching the training and the game. He is a master in tactics of conducting a group of men to win. And that is all that matters to him. He does mind games, dodgy tactics, yes. And he wins. Unlike music, here we have an objective criteria: titles. And that is the only criteria that matters to the fan. And Mourinho provides that.

Mourinho is not the only one now: André Villas Boas already is doing that with Porto. Just look at Porto numbers this year. You’ll be amazed and surprised.

So, what is the conclusion to draw on all this? Simple: a new paradigm, a new theoretical and scientific system has been discovered. Portugal is now holding the “Atomic bomb” for football coaching. These teams are not the best in the world. These man are not special. But their leaders are. They know something others don’t. And they keep fooling the others. And they have clear advantage backstage. And they are defeating the best teams in the world year after year. And while Europe doesn’t wake for this phenomenon and finds a way to reverse it we’ll keep winning. Or, at least, trying very hard to.

If you really want to know what I’m talking about read these thesis:

Creating and managing successful teams:

LOURENÇO, LUIS. MOURINHO – A DESCOBERTA GUIADA: CRIAR E GERIR EQUIPAS DE SUCESSO. PRIME BOOKS

Leadership:

LOURENÇO, LUIS, e FERNANDO ILHARCO. LIDERANÇA – AS LIÇOES DE MOURINHO. BOOKNOMICS

Why so many victories?:

OLIVEIRA, BRUNO, NUNO AMIEIRO, NUNO RESENDE, e RICARDO BARRETO. MOURINHO – PORQUÊ TANTAS VITÓRIAS? GRADIVA, 2006.

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