If it’s solely suc­cess you want, Jose is your man

Mour­inho will bring tro­phies, but it will come at a cost

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORTS - By Adrian Back @aidy­back adrian@7days.ae

So it looks like it’s fi­nally hap­pen­ing. Manch­ester United are send­ing Louis van Gaal pack­ing and in will walk a smug Jose Mour­inho.

Just five months af­ter be­ing shown the door by Chelsea, with the club one point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and hav­ing lost nine of 16 games, Mour­inho is land­ing one of the big­gest jobs in world foot­ball.

United may be a shadow of the club that dom­i­nated do­mes­ti­cally for the best part of two decades un­der Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, but they re­main one of the most pow­er­ful in world foot­ball.

Mour­inho will be handed a blank cheque book and told to do what­ever it takes to de­liver suc­cess - and we aren’t talk­ing an FA Cup tri­umph.

United want Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball and league ti­tles. Noth­ing else will do.

That is why they have ap­pointed Mour­inho. The Por­tuguese col­lects sil­ver­ware like a mag­pie col­lects shiny ob­jects. With Mour­inho at the helm you are guar­an­teed suc­cess. The foot­ball may be te­dious at times, the tac­tics of­ten neg­a­tive, and youth will not flour­ish; but you can­not ar­gue with his track record. The 53-year-old has won eight league ti­tles in four coun­tries, the UEFA Cup and the Cham­pi­ons League twice. And to United that is what counts. They are club syn­ony­mous with suc­cess and they can­not af­ford an­other sea­son of tran­si­tion. There­fore the club are clearly will­ing to sac­ri­fice some of their prin­ci­ples. Un­der Fer­gu­son, United were renowned for their at­tack­ing foot­ball. They were a joy to watch at their freeflow­ing best, ca­pa­ble of tak­ing the best teams apart and even more than that, they showed no mercy. Like his pre­de­ces­sor Van Gaal, Mour­inho is a metic­u­lous planner. The sort of coach who drills de­fen­sive or­gan­i­sa­tion into his side and is will­ing to sac­ri­fice even the most tal­ented player if he doesn’t fit his sys­tem. Cer­tainly Juan Mata will not be rel­ish­ing work­ing un­der Mour­inho again.

But a quick glance across so­cial me­dia showed that the vast ma­jor­ity of United fans were thrilled.

“De­lighted we’ll be hav­ing Mour­inho. He’s bullish, a cham­pion, am­bi­tious - the men­tal­ity of our club aligns with his,” wrote Twit­ter user @JdotJames.

United def­i­nitely need some pos­i­tive head­lines fol­low­ing their dis­mal han­dling of Van Gaal’s sack­ing and Mour­inho’s ap­point­ment. It was the worst kept se­cret in foot­ball and hav­ing the news slip af­ter Van Gaal lifted the FA Cup was a dis­grace.

Still you can­not feel too bad for the Dutch­man. He de­parts with a $7 mil­lion golden hand­shake and can proudly lay claim to hav­ing handed sev­eral academy grad­u­ates a chance to shine.

The same op­por­tu­nity may not be forth­com­ing from Mour­inho, but in an era where a man­ager’s shelf life is as short as a bot­tle of milk, he seems the per­fect ap­point­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.