Today begins the last standard week most American’s have before the holiday break. The final five-day work week, paired with the conventional two-day weekend.
Earlier on this Monday morning the penultimate holiday week kicked-off with the Champions League knockout draw. A painfully prolonged process that sees a bunch of self-important rich guys get together and pat themselves on the back.
There was one guy missing in Nyon, Switzerland this morning though. A guy that hasn’t been a part of the Champions League Sweet 16 since 2018.
As our seven day routine comes to a close, so is Jose Mourinho’s illustrious career. A career that’s gone through many phases, with peaks and valleys, exactly like the day’s of the week.
The reason Sunday Scaries exist. Monday takes no prisoners, like death, taxes, and nagging injuries stemming from my Over-30 Men’s League…Monday is inevitable.
In 2013 Mourinho ripped off his translation headphones as he grew frustrated with reporter questions. Real Madrid were preparing for a Champions League Elite 8 game against Turkish side Galatasaray. Jose just wanted to get to the game, but you can’t fast forward through the week, Monday is always your first obstacle.
As I get older Tuesday has become arguably a bigger challenge than Monday. You learn to power through Monday by any means necessary, and oftentimes you forget…the inescapability of Tuesday looms right around the corner.
Jose saw the daunting task of having to complete four more days before the weekend as the brisk London wind smacked him in the face. In 2004, now Leicester City manager; Brendan Rodgers was Mourinho’s assistant. It’s nice to have a friend that’s willing to try and coax you out of a Tuesday stupor, but there was nothing Rodgers could do to get “The Special One” to see past his torturous Tuesday.
Possibly the most notorious day of the week, Wednesday has a Bermuda Triangle type feel. By this point most guys have become lost and disoriented within the week.
Jose isn’t most guys though, he relishes inside the purgatory that is Hump Day. On multiple occasions he’s raised three fingers at rivals, and former fan bases he’s once represented. Mourinho’s time as Manchester United boss is summed up with these three fingers, first letting Chelsea fans know he won three Premier League’s navigating their ship. Then smugly acknowledging Juventus fans, by reminding them he won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010.
The 4th day, the day we start to gain some confidence, and self-esteem back into our lives. Thursday is the new Friday. We now have Thursday Night Football, and as Jose has found out recently, the Europa League also takes place on Thursday's.
In 2018 Mourinho’s United managed to upset Juventus in Torin. Jose threw it back for Thursday, with the classic, “I can’t hear you,” a delightful treat for the Juve fans.
We did it. The cuffs are finally off, we’ve all made it to Friday, and just have to get through that last shift before the weekend commences. Through intestinal fortitude, and grit, the chains have been broken, and it’s time to dance like no one's watching.
Jose’s controversial handcuff gesture toward an Italian ref got him a three match-ban…but after defeating Barcelona in the 2010 Champions League Final 4, he took the field, and partied like you only do on a Friday night.
Young, spry, and full of life. I’m not sure there’s a better feeling than waking up Saturday, and knowing you have 24 hours to yourself. There's nothing like getting together with the fellas, and having a Saturday.
Saturday is vibrant, like these 97’-98’ Barca warmups. Jose earned his coaching badges at an early age under Louis Van Gaal in Spain.
As magnificent as Saturday is, Sunday is imminent, and has a tendency to feel like the composition of all seven days in one. A Sunday morning is one of life’s greatest treats, but once the sun goes down, those aforementioned Sunday Scaries we discussed on Monday start to creep in.
Like Rust Cohle said, “time is a flat circle,” and the days of the week are just that. Sometimes it brings a guy to hiding behind his dugout after being sent off against Napoli this past October.
The villain has been cast aside in Rome, Italy. His last chance at a “big club,” toiling in 8th place, and the Europa Conference. Will Jose ever make it back to world’s most prestigious knockout competition? Probably not, but that’s the cyclical nature of being one of the biggest managers to ever stand on the touchline. Much like the weekend that just ended, he's already said goodbye.