Barclay, Patrick

views updated

Barclay, Patrick


ADDRESSES: Office—The Daily Telegraph, 1 Canada Sq., London E14 5DT, England. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Sports reporter for the Guardian, Manchester, England, c. 1970s; Sunday Telegraph, London, England, soccer correspondent.


Mourinho: Anatomy of a Winner, Orion (London, England), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Sports reporter Patrick Barclay picked soccer coach José Mourinho for the subject of his first book, Mourinho: Anatomy of a Winner. Focusing on the fifteen years Mourinho spent coaching in his native Portugal and then with England's Chelsea team, the author especially points out his wins of the Premiership and the Carling Cup. Mourinho first achieved success with his Porto club in his homeland, and when he took over the Chelsea team in 2004 he made good on his promise to turn their sagging record completely around. "Barclay buys uncritically into Mourinho's self-created myth which holds that he is 'A Special One,' a manager who promises great things and then unfailingly delivers them," commented David Runci-man in his London Review of Books assessment of Mourinho. According to Runciman, though, Barclay attributes too much of the Chelsea team's success to its new coach. The team was doing poorly when Mourinho joined it, and Runciman felt that the coach simply recognized that some hard work and attention to detail could do nothing other than improve the team. As Runciman put it, "Barclay has mistaken cause and effect. Chelsea didn't do better because Mourinho said they would; rather, he said they would because he knew that as an underperforming team they were very likely to improve." Add to this the fact that Mourinho is a handsome man with a dynamic personality, and the illusion that he was primarily responsible for the team's success was complete, averred Runciman. Therefore, the critic felt that Barclay's book is overly effusive in its praise of the coach and fails to offer insightful analysis into the Chelsea team phenomenon. On the other hand, some critics predicted that Barclay's book would nevertheless be a popular seller for soccer fans, and a London Independent Online reviewer felt that Barclay provides a "convincing portrait of a driven man tailor-made for managerial success."



Bookseller, June 17, 2005, review of Mourinho: Anatomy of a Winner, p. 38.

London Review of Books, January 5, 2006, David Runciman, "He Shoots! He Scores!," review of Mourinho.


Independent Online, (December 18, 2005), review of Mourinho.