Assisting Mou: The men who follow Jose everywhere he goes
By Pete Sharland
One thing that every manager will have in common is a solid backroom team; a small group of people that they know and trust.
A manager’s job can be so precarious that it’s difficult for any of them to really settle anywhere for too long. With so much regular upheaval in their lives, it’s important to have a constant in their working life, people who they know they can rely on, even when things start getting tough.
Jose Mourinho is no different, and as the formalities are smoothed out for his arrival at Manchester United there will be a key core of staff that he will want to bring with him. Some of these will be possible whilst others will be slightly more tricky, and of course we still aren’t aware about what Ryan Giggs plans to do either.
It’s now 15 years since Mourinho and Rui Faria started working together, with the manager going as far as to say that Faria is his “methodology right arm, the guy that understands best my information and the way I work.” The pair met when Mourinho was an assistant manager at Barcelona, and when he was hired by União de Leiria he appointed Faria as a fitness coach.
Rui Faria has worked with Jose Mourinho for a number of years.
Since then Faria’s role with Mourinho has developed into so much more; he’s an assistant in every sense of the word. In the latter stages of Mourinho’s Chelsea career, he was regularly seen on the touchline whilst his boss would sit in the dugout scowling.
When Mourinho was banned from the sidelines for a Champions League game against Bayern Munich, Faria was accused of communicating with his manager with an earpiece hidden beneath his hat.
Like his manager, Faria isn’t exempt from the occasional touchline outburst, as his time as an assistant has seen him sent to the stands on more than one occasion.
He was also given a six game ban (which was later reduced) for his angry response to a penalty awarded to Sunderland in a Premier League match in 2014. The game proved to be Mourinho and Faria’s first defeat at home at Chelsea. His antics at Old Trafford are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Louro joined Mourinho and Faria at Porto, and like the latter didn’t initially join as an assistant manager. He started as a goalkeeping coach and carried on in this role when the trio moved to Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
His work with Baia, Petr Cech and Julio Cesar saw them enjoy great success, winning multiple league and Champions League titles across the four clubs. Of course with Frans Hoek leaving along with Louis van Gaal, Louro may end up working closely with the United goalkeepers.
Silvino Louro with Jose Mourinho.
Upon their return to Chelsea in 2013, it was clear that Louro had more of an assistant manager role, covering some tactical points before matches and then sitting alongside Faria and Mourinho on the bench.
He was charged by the FA after confronting referee Jon Moss during the 2-1 defeat at West Ham United earlier this season, but was only warned about his future conduct.
Those who aren’t available
The third part of the trio that Mourinho likes to surround himself with, but he won’t be able to join him at United. He’s currently the manager of Turkish side Antalyaspor, having recently taken over from Samuel Eto’o, who was interim player-manager.
Morais was brought in to join Mourinho at Inter Milan when Andre-Villas Boas decided to leave the set-up and pursue his own managerial career in Portugal. He was an assistant primarily responsible for scouting the opposition, Villas-Boas’ role, and followed Mourinho to Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Jose Morais has now left Jose Mourinho’s side to pursue his own managerial career.
Whilst at Chelsea the club granted Morais a year-long sabbatical, which rather than use as a holiday he decided to get some more managerial experience. He went to manage Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia, where he won the Saudi Super Cup in his first game in charge, before returning to Chelsea for the 2015-16 season. It seems unlikely that he would be allowed to leave his current job, while there’s no indication that he wants to.
After proving himself with Crewe and Stoke City, Holland was hired by Chelsea to work as their reserve team manager, where he led the team to league success. Under Villas-Boas he was promoted to work with the first team, a role he kept with Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez and then Mourinho.
Steve Holland was always seen as a calmer member of the Mourinho team.
Holland was the only member of Mourinho’s immediate backroom staff not to have worked with him in the past, but reports after the Portuguese’s sacking suggested that he was one of the few people to question Mourinho during the latter stages of his time at Chelsea.
Holland has remained at Chelsea and is expected to be part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff, which will make him a tricky hire for Mourinho at United.
Lollichon has been credited as the mastermind behind Petr Cech’s career, having worked with the goalkeeper at Rennes and Chelsea. When Cech left to join Arsenal, it was widely expected that Lollichon would follow him.
Christophe Lollichon with Petr Cech at the Chelsea training ground.
The Frenchman stayed at Chelsea and continued to work with Thibaut Courtois, but it’s reported that the pair don’t necessarily get on.
However despite this, Lollichon still hasn’t left Chelsea, and with Courtois’ future uncertain in itself he’s another who may be difficult to prise away from Stamford Bridge.