Ramon Vega: Football has changed but Mourinho’s tactics are still the same
By Alessandro Schiavone
Former Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Ramon Vega has defended Jose Mourinho by likening a manager’s career to the one of any player, citing that a decline is inevitable at some point and that it’s ‘very hard’ to always stay at the top of your game throughout a long career.
The Portuguese manager was sacked by Tottenham following a poor run of results and will be in charge of Serie A side AS Roma next season after penning a three-year deal last week.
Mourinho was once hailed as the best manager in the world but after failing to lift the Champions League in 11 years and win a single league title since 2015, many fear that he’s past his sell-by date and a spent force.
Vega said: “I think it’s like a football player, you got your highs as a football player, when you are at the top of your game, when you have a certain age. And not many players have consistency. Only the best players in the world, like the Ronaldos have that. Then you have the secondary, good quality players who have great three or four years but at some point decline for whatever reasons such as injuries.
“From a manager’s point of view it’s the same. The burnout is huge because of the stress he experiences. And he’s often the only man standing there against everybody else.”
Vega believes that Jose Mourinho has been left behind in today’s game as he questions his outdated tactics and modus operandi which no longer bear fruit.
The former Swiss international, who featured at Euro '96 in England, added: “Jose Mourinho managed huge clubs and was successful.
“But I think in his will to win at all costs he has burned out and this took its toll on the capacity he had, which of course declined. In 2010 he had that ‘new way’ of managing to be successful. He was innovative. But are his managing skills up to date with what his needed in today’s game? I think not and maybe he didn’t even want to update them. A manager has to update his old ways of managing all the time. Every manager has to update to the changes of football in many ways. From the attitude of the young players coming through because the way of managing these young players is not the same than 20, 30 years ago or when I was there. The characters have changed and there are different ways of communicating.
“And if you don’t change, you’re running out of options of people listening to you because players today want a different approach.”