If it’s solely success you want, Jose is your man
Mourinho will bring trophies, but it will come at a cost
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.