Arsenal have been one of the Premier League’s constants in recent years, providing entertainment and mediocrity, sometimes at the same time. It was thought that Arsene Wenger’s departure would bring about a change, but that hasn’t happened. Under Unai Emery, Arsenal finished outside of the top four once again, and this season seems to be going a similar way. Performances have been shaky, as an unstable defense has led to just two clean-sheets, with just four wins in 11 league games. With Emery’s future on the line, the dark spectre of José Mourinho looms. But is the José package actually worth it in 2019?
Mourinho might be Premier League’s most enigmatic manager, as he has had three stints in the Premier League, winning plenty of silverware. However, it’s gone sour every time, with his sapping negativity leading to his own departure at almost every club he’s managed. For example, at Manchester United, things went downhill once he didn’t get the centre-back he desired. Could things change at Arsenal? After big spending this summer, funds might not be readily available in the coming transfer windows.
Only this time, Mourinho would know what he would be getting into. He’s spent 11 months out of management, biding his time. He’s been building his return slowly, via Sky Sports stints, getting back into the public eye. He’s spoken about how Emery could play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left-wing and bring Nicolas Pepe inside to benefit Alexandre Lacazette, clearly showing he has some ideas for how to change things up at the club. Despite his two stints at Chelsea, it’s unlikely he’s worried too much about managing their rivals, even though he has clashed with Wenger on numerous occasions.
The question revolves more around Arsenal and where they want to head. Emery hasn’t given the club the identity they desire. If they were to approach Mourinho, he might be keen to get back in the game. But will they progress? He delivered cups at United, but he left them back at square one. His tactics were out-dated and United were often a shambles under him. What he might bring is leadership and charisma but the spotlight would be on him rather than the club. He may be able to organise the defense but the personnel at their disposal aren’t the greatest.
Emery has been a safe pair of hands so far, but he is fast losing the fanbase. To appoint Mourinho would be a major gamble which is unlikely to go well in the long-term. It would take serious desperation for the club to appoint him. In 2019, Mourinho needs Arsenal more than Arsenal needs Mourinho. That should be enough reason to steer clear of the Special One.