Skill or Chance??

Many times we can by fooled by our own circular thinking.

Consider this statement: Jose Mourinho is a very successful football coach BECAUSE he is a brilliant tactician, a charismatic leader, a strong personality, possesses supreme confidence (or arrogance) and plus a indomitable winning attitude. Of couse,  not forgetting his Hollywood good looks too.

Guess most football fans would agree with my assessment of Mourinho (except if you happen to be a Barca fan). But are all these attributes really the CAUSE of his success? Or is his success that, ironically, made us think that they are the cause of his success?

Let us do a little thought experiment and imagine an alternate universe in which he is still endowed with all those qualities, but with his Porto being knocked out of the Champions League by Man United in 2004 (the year they were supposed to win the title) after Costinha did not managed scored that away goal in injury time.

 With that change of course in history, the cumulative effect will be:

He would never had the opportunity to jump up and down along the perimeter of the Old Trafford pitch, attracting Roman Abrahimovich to hire him as manager of Chelsea, never would have won his 2 consecutive EPL  titles to enhance his reputation, never would have gone to Inter to win his second Champions League title and cement his God-like status in the footballing world. 

As talented as he STILL is, I am quite sure this particular Mourinho would never have captured the imagination of the football world. We probably would never have hear much about him on TV or read about him in the papers, much less think of him as somebody special. 

So could it be that those qualities we mentioned really has much less to do with his sucess than we would care admit? I am convinced it is.

I mean, who really love to hear of the hero who makes it through pure dumb luck??  

As much as I love this guy, The Special One may not be THAT special after all… except maybe very special luck.

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