The news broke not long after Saturday’s FA Cup final that Mourinho joining United was all but done. This wasn’t a surprise to many, as it’s been coming for months. Winning the FA Cup was never going to be enough for Van Gaal, as United missed out on the top 4 for a second time in the past three years. It was enough for Moyes to be sacked, so the writing was on the wall.
I am a lifelong Chelsea fan; so when it comes to the subject of Jose Mourinho I have nothing but praise, and a host of incredible footballing memories. Jose has won 3 league titles at the Bridge, 3 league cups, and an FA Cup. Not just this but he brought a style of play to Chelsea that was not popular to all, but was a pleasure to watch for me. My footballing philosophy has always been one of structure, discipline, and clean sheets the priority, so his style did resonate with me.
But I will never be able to forgive him for joining United.
Sure the respect will be there, so will the memories. But joining one of our biggest rivals is just unforgivable. And I wouldn’t be surprised if when he returns to the Bridge there’s a mixture of cheers and jeers.
Now there’s many who are discussing just how will Mourinho fare at United, and it’s true that this is a situation he’s never really faced as a manager. Firstly, he had a nightmare this season, and showed just how destructive he can be at a club. For the first time in his career he has to bounce back, and reprove himself somewhat. Which won’t be an easy task. Also he’s taking over a club without Champions League football, something he’s never done.
Minus the season just gone, Mourinho has an unmatched record in management. He has won pretty much everything wherever he has gone, including both European competitions with Porto, countless trophies at Chelsea, the treble at Inter, and the double at Madrid. For me, him and Simeone are currently the two best managers in the world (that I’ve seen regularly), and all signs point towards him bringing success to United.
However, I have my doubts.
Mourinho has always brought short term success to all the clubs he’s managed, but has yet to stay at a club for 4 or more season and bring long term success. I really cannot see this changing here. United are a club that value long term management, and Jose won’t be able to do that. United are also a club that value width, and attacking football all year round. As previously mentioned Mourinho prefers to employ a more pragmatic style in his play, and although it’s not particularly boring like Van Gaal’s, it may not satisfy the football United fans want.
Finally Mourinho has a history of not embracing the youth of a club, one of the reasons for his lack of long term success. United have always championed themselves on bringing through youth players, and many have come through this season. The question is will he continue to use these players and bring through his own? I think yes to the former, and no to the latter. Already established stars like Lingard and Rashford will likely be used, but many on the fringes will likely go to waste.
To conclude on the matter, I think Mourinho will bring success to United, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win a title within 2 years. However there is a clear pattern with Jose’s management, and in 3 years time I could be writing a piece on his new club…