Benni McCarthy has said that he looks no further than the methods of his former coach Jose Mourinho when gauging the great managers of the world as he plots his own coaching path at Cape Town City.
McCarthy who recently gained his UEFA Pro License, putting him on a par in terms of qualifications with managers across Europe’s elite leagues, recently collected his first piece of silverware with the MTN8 in September, 2018.
The former Bafana Bafana striker who played under Mourinho at FC Porto, was part of the 2004 UEFA Champions League-winning side that not only stunned world football, but also set the Portuguese manager on the path to greatness.
According to McCarthy, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola coaches at an elite level, it is unrealistic for him to model his own ambitions on the Spaniard as he simply doesn’t have the players to implement those meticulous plans. He said:
“Everybody talks about Pep Guardiola but not everybody can be him”.
“That is too advanced for most people [players]. To do what he does, you have to manage Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, to have those types of players.
“With the crop of players most coaches have, you can’t be that adventurous and that risky with offensive football at that level.
“I read about it and I love his success and how he is changing the modern game, but to help me in my coaching [at Cape Town City], nah, I stay away from those kinds of tactics”.
He also stated that though he admires of the methods of Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho remains the benchmark he aspires to.
“I am a simple guy. Sarri, I like what he does, he’s very interesting. Pochettino, I like also. But everyone knows the methods I follow … I don’t have to play exactly that style, but for what he has done for me, Mourinho is the one.
“I read a little bit of this, I look at that, but the ultimate, when I need to put things in perspective and I say this is me and what I want to follow, then I go and read anything Mourinho says and does.
“In my opinion, for what he does for me [and my coaching], Mourinho is the best manager in the world. People might call it boring, but when you have an ordinary [Manchester United] team like that, to finish second in the Premier League … you deserve a medal of honour”.
He also said that he has seen the changes in Mourinho’s management style down the years, going from a young coach who dreamed of putting his players on the path to success, to the two-time Champions League winner who has led some of the world’s biggest clubs.
“There has been a change, not necessarily for the better, but as you get older you can’t be how you were when you started coaching. Like when you had that passion and the love for the players and the game.
“He had that philosophy where he loved to work with players, to change them and make them into winners. He loved to change their profiles. But the older you get, you can’t stick to that kind of intensity of getting to know every player inside out and knowing how to manage them”.
McCarthy said that the fighting spirit of United this season that has seen them come back from adversity in a number of matches is also a classic Mourinho trait.
“How the Man Utd boys play for him is amazing … how he can make comebacks against Chelsea, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Juventus … I see the United boys are playing with that passion that you know Mourinho players play with.
“That is the Mourinho way and the manager I know … nobody gives you a chance but the players on the pitch and the bench know it is not over until the fat lady sings”.