Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Mourinho Method

The drills he uses are global drills I work the same way myself although I had to formulate my own.

The drills used iclude-training a tactical factoralways include decision making,have high touches,fitness orientated.

Mourinho uses a series of 42 drills which go from training individual technique to right the way up to whole system, he deos this in a specific sequence and trains possession intensly especially possesion in the opponents half, this is a method from his days under van gaal(another of my role models).
For his training to work he demands a minimum of two pitches side by side.

He works like this:

1-defence>>>>>>>transition to attack>>>>>>>>attack

2-attack>>>>>>>>transition to defence>>>>>>>defence

The next step after the above basic foundation is to condition the box system into the team where he will use a coloured box for certain tactical situations. Its the box colours that are the little bits of paper he gives out.The final step is to have the team recognise when to change the formation and system midmatch by them self, at this point players can seen to counter attacking problems before most can see them. It is at this point that he says that the team knows all that he does.

Mourinho uses guided discovery to educate his players, during the season he tweaks his 42 games so that the factors to be discovered are based on the weakness of the opponent on a tactical and technical level.

He will produce dossiers and dvds of opponents which players memorise.

He will have three team talks before playing the game.He times the above steps to work with the cycle of success, this is about 3 to 5 seasons with his team peaking during this period.

If mourinho thinks any players need improving seperatly he will do individual technique work to mould the player, hence the rapid improvement of joe cole during the first season.

His approach to ball use is based on temperising the opponents midfield(this was used to great effect by the romanian national team in the 80s) and resting on the ball. Temperisation works by holding the ball in midfield to move opponents out of position and then attacking the remaining space, he does this to brake the lines which are apparent in each system. Dragging players out of the lines unbalances the play and creates an attacking chance. Resting on the ball is possesion for the sake of it as mourinho demands intense offensive pressing high up the pitch which is physically demanding, so his players keep the ball to rest while opponent chases.

Mourinho states that the psychological factors are the most important and puts the team above anything else, he likes his players to play with controlled agression and confidence.

His appraoch to youth is simple he uses a small sided games with high touches based on the dutch system but working isolated parts of his tactical system, his condition before any player is promoted to the first team is that they master the colour box and have been through the 42 drills atleast once, otherwise no promotion.

His leadership is charismatic and he uses an attitude of invincibility which seems to rub onto the players, he focuses the media on him in order to remove the attention from the team and in some cases create a negative view to the team before big games which he then uses as a tool to motivate the players.

Mourinho believe in control and his coaching methods focus only on what is in his direct control.

He places the romoval of complacency as a high priority, he keeps concentration in his players high by reinforcing that his opponents are not stupid and can potentially have the same methods producing a need to concentrateIn terms of weakness of the opponents he will practice taking advantage of the individual player factors first such as hieght of players or weak foot.

His first act is to issue a letter the team which reads:"from here on every aspect of your life will be geared to winning the title, whether it social or work based. I do not believe in the word first team, I need all of you and you need each other.We are a TEAM, MOTIVATION+AMBITION+TEAM+SPIRIT=SUCCESS.When mourinho reveals his letter he will have the players lie down in training backs on the floor and abosrb every word as he reads it out.

Other aspects of his man managment iclude a brutal honesty with team members using strict eye to eye contact he does not censor his his word no matter who the player.He works on self image believing even that if his players are the best n the world that is how you view them so to an extent that s how they will view themselves.

He deos not believe attacking or defending styles he believes in balance and if a team is unbalnced in one area in terms of work ethic the a loss will result.When mourinho runs his defensive drills he punishes high rates of scoring and soon his players learn that if the let goals go in training the will in the game as they are not defending properly.

His weekly shedule goes like this:

tuesday=transition to attack and attacking
wednesday=attacking and transition to defence
Thursday=defence and transition from defence to attack
Friday=set peice play

One of his key coaching points during his sessions is to refine play down the channels and between the opposing team lines.

In terms of team building he states that it is not the length of time that players work together but how effectively they communicate together within the system.

He beleives a good coach should know and control all details regarding his players.When training mourinho likes coaching points which mix the best technical feature of the spannish league, the best tactical feature of the italian league and the physicality of the english league believing these to be the most effective aspects of play.

Mourinho uses mental tests in the form of tactical excersises to deduce and predict how each player will think in different situations and plans who can go where and when an what they effect they will have on his coloured box work and guided discovery.

Mourinho keeps strict rules on shin pads as he uses condenced space in alot of his methods believing this to be the first challenge a coach should apply to his team to encourage competitive agression and speed of play and thought in confined defensive situations.


  1. This is very impressive. It fits with what I know about Mourinho. From where did you get such precise information?
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Sounds heavy, but that explains the title

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  4. Great article, thank you very much. I do not understand what "colour box" means... (I'm french). Do you know something about the three Team talks (place, content...) and the moment chosen to announce the Team?

  5. Hi Damien,

    The colour box system is where you give each tactic of your team a colour...for example all out attack may be red. You then observe the flow of the game and if you want your team to attack you tell them "red" and the whole team know what to. Its as as simple as that :-)

    I remember a team talk on the friday at the end of the week to go through the very detailed work on the game plan...set plays, marking etc.

    Before the game to mentally refresh and prepare for the opponent.

    And half time to prepare for the second half.