Ignore the Jose Mourinho fairytale at Newcastle United - this is why it will never happen

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Newcastle United must ignore the Jose Mourinho noise and continue to back Eddie Howe

As expected, Jose Mourinho’s sacking at Roma resulted in links to Newcastle United. It was inevitable. His customary two years of success were followed by failure in the third, a trait that has plagued the Portuguese tactician throughout his managerial career.

Attach his name to an underperforming Premier League club and, Bob’s your uncle, a lazy news story has been born. Given the external hysteria around Tyneside since the Saudi-backed takeover, this rumour was nailed on as soon as Roma wielded the axe.

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Bookmakers are also making St James’ Park his most likely next destination, sharpening their knives on Eddie Howe when his job security remains resolute. The noise was always going to amplify from outlets outside of the North East craving their media darling.

Mourinho, love him or hate him, is the clickbait king. From his inaugural “Special One” outburst to the “Specialist in Failure” jibe, the ex-Chelsea boss has provided newspapers with golden copy for two decades.

In truth, Mourinho to Newcastle is a fairytale fit for Disney. Supporters have long suspected the legendary manager would one day govern the St James’ Park touchline due to his Sir Bobby Robson connections.

Robson hired Mourinho at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona as a translator before realising he had unearthed a diamond. Little by little, the young, hungry protege gained trust, before becoming so invaluable to his mentor he would eventually be conducting full training sessions.

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A little-known fact is how Robson pleaded with Mourinho to join him when he took the Newcastle job in 1999. The aspiring coach, despite being promised the No.1 position within two years, declined, choosing to forge his own path instead.

Their relationship fizzled out during Robson’s later years but Mourinho still held immense respect for the man who gave him a break. In 2011, the Portuguese donated his Ballon d'Or Coach of the Year award to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Over £25,000 was raised, money which benefits cancer patients across the region.

Mourinho’s love for Newcastle is no secret. “It's a club I feel a connection with because of Mr Robson, it's as simple as that,” Mourinho told Sky Sports in 2020. “He had a huge passion for Newcastle and his area, Durham. He had it in his heart. So, through him, I have become a little magpie!

“At the time I was already eyeing a different direction. Mr Robson always knew that I wanted to give everything that I could to him but, at the same time, he also knew I had my eyes in a different direction. But yes, there was a chance (of joining Newcastle).”

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Over 20 years on and the love affair should be no closer to being fulfilled. Now aged 60, it does feel like now or never for Mourinho at Newcastle.

The argument for his appointment is plausible, given his wealth of experience and mountainous trophy cabinet - but not while Howe remains in the hot seat. Newcastle need to focus on what they have: a talented, personable, media-savvy, hungry English manager with credit in the bank from his previous heroics.

This man dragged the Magpies from the abyss and to the Champions League promised lands. The attention zealots may be calling for his head, but nobody of a sensible black-and-white persuasion truly believes Howe should go.

Also, the club structure does not align with Mourinho’s beliefs. Imagine him working under Dan Ashworth? Arrivals on Tyneside have been prudent, with Howe able to develop players like Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak, Sven Botman and Anthony Gordon, potential stars in their early 20s, into Premier League stalwarts.

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Mourinho, by contrast, has never advocated for youth. The possibility of him continuing his legacy appealed before his mishaps at Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Roma, but the Magpies were bereft of ambition.

He is now aged and battle-scarred. Like players, managers also have their peak. It’s a shame as, a decade ago, an emerging Newcastle would have been the perfect fit for Mourinho.

But now the Saudi Pro League beckons - you heard it here first. Mourinho has the stardust reputation to earn a king’s ransom in the Middle East. All the best to him, but the Newcastle fantasy is dead.

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