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Jose Mourinho still carries charisma he had in our Chelsea days – Scott Parker

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Fulham v Chelsea – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: John Walton)

Fulham manager Scott Parker believes there remains an aura about Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho that was evident when the Portuguese first arrived in England.

The pair worked together at Chelsea during the 2004-05 campaign and will meet again on Wednesday as opponents.

Parker takes Fulham to Spurs to face the 57-year-old as a manager for the first time and while respect remains high between the duo, the Craven Cottage chief will not be overawed.

He said: “It only felt like yesterday when I was a player under Jose and now I’ll stand in the technical area with him, albeit a few years under him in terms of being in this job, so his experience is far superior.

“It is an occasion I am relishing and looking forward to and I can’t wait to meet up with him again and get my team to pit their wits against a very good opposition.”

When Mourinho arrived in London during the summer of 2004, he took the country by storm with his “special one” comment.

The charisma of the Portuguese manager was off the chart and despite being synonymous with winning trophies, the last silverware clinched by the former Manchester United boss was in 2017.

Being sacked from his post at Old Trafford, after suffering the same fate with Chelsea and Real Madrid, appeared to have stung the current Tottenham head coach, but when Parker has bumped into him in London or at games the aura remains the same.

“He had charisma about him which we all see now,” the Fulham manager explained. “He came into Chelsea and brought new ideas and certainly they were ideas that probably a lot of us in that squad had never seen.

“His training methods, his organisation and he himself brings a big personality and charisma, so that is exactly how I see him.

“I was only in Jose’s company for a year, but nothing but fond memories and even now when I’ve bumped into him, he has got something about him that we all see. As a manager it speaks for itself what he has done in the game.”

Mourinho recently celebrated his first anniversary in charge of Spurs and had them top earlier this season before a decline in form.

Even when Tottenham were at the summit a constant debate surrounded the style of play being used, which has been in contrast to previous teams at the club.

Parker played under Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor, with a gung-ho approach adopted to good effect.

The one-time England captain added: “It was just the way we were playing in that moment.

“Harry was that sort of guy as well in terms of allowing a freeness and we had a very good team then. It was full of top quality players and we had some free spirits like Van Der Vaart, Modric, Adebayor – so real off-the-cuff players.

“Everyone has their different styles and you have to accommodate those. Like earlier when I was asked about coming away from our principles, you adapt styles to certain ways so that is what that Tottenham team were back then when I played in it.”

Mourinho remains one of the greatest managers of his generation, but Parker’s big influence has been John McDermott, the former head of academy coaching and player development at Spurs.

It was McDermott who convinced the Fulham manager to start his coaching badges while he was a player at Tottenham and he also handed the 40-year-old his first job after retirement when he was appointed the club’s under-18 head coach.

He is now involved at the Football Association and therefore will not be present to witness his apprentice return to N17 or the likes of Matt Wells, Rob Burch and Nathan Gardiner, who all spent time with the Lilywhites before becoming part of Parker’s coaching staff at Craven Cottage.

“John had a massive influence on everyone,” Parker said. “He was the one who pushed me into coaching.

“I then went back into the club after I retired and I was with him in the under-18s. He has been incredible for all of us in terms of nurturing and everything.

“The team I have around me now, we are looking forward to going back. We spent a large part of our professional years at that club, so we are looking forward to going back there and it will be special for us all.”