Manchester United are hoping to open talks over a new contract for Jose Mourinho, as reported by MailOnline earlier this week.
Having won three trophies in his first season as manager and taking the club back in the Champions League, Mourinho has gone a long way in restoring the kind of winning culture that had become synonymous with the red half of Manchester for over two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson.
With around 18 months left on his current contract, the club appears to be working on an improved deal to keep the Portuguese at the club for much longer, but there are some out there who believe the super-manager’s tactics are not what Man United stand for, a complete opposite to what all that past success was built on.
So, does he deserve a new deal? We’ve asked our writers for their thoughts on the matter..
Granted Jose Mourinho has been given a significant transfer budget since arriving at Old Trafford, but the Portuguese delivered three trophies during his first year in charge.
Manchester United look well equipped to challenge for the Premier League title this season, in addition to advancing deep into the Champions League. United are a team to be feared once again, and whatever happens this season in terms of trophies, the Red Devils are finally moving in the right direction.
Mourinho is the best man for the job right now, there is no question about that.
We’ve now reached a point where the best managers in the Premier League can’t be expected to win the title every season simply because of the strength of competition not only at the table’s summit but throughout the rest of the division.
A Champions League-winning manager now works at a club who were in the Championship last season – that’s how intensely healthy the English top flight is these days. So it would be wrong to say only a Premier League title can justify a Mourinho contract. United being genuine competitors in this season’s title race should be enough, considering where they were this time four years ago under David Moyes, especially if it’s supplemented by some positive performances in the Champions League and a domestic trophy.
I suppose the ultimate criteria, then, should be whether Mourinho has restored the club to the same levels as the final few years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
Three trophies in one season along with Champions League qualification for a Manchester United side who had stopped taking that for granted may well have been enough to earn him a new contract at the end of last season.
Fast forward to this one and despite the hugely questionably choice to settle for a goalless draw against a Liverpool side who had the third-worst defensive record in the league, United are still one of the most feared teams in the country, have scored more goals than anyone other than leaders Manchester City, and have only conceded in one league game so far.
I, personally, would not like my team to set up as United did at Anfield, but if Mourinho decides this is the best way to win a league title, he’s earned the right to execute that plan.
In terms of a new contract, however, it might well be presumptuous to think he’ll even see out the one he currently has: there have been reports that he is unhappy at the club, and his comments about ‘special’ Paris Saint-Germain are odd in the extreme. Perhaps, though, rather than any genuine wantaway desires, this is, indeed, just the start of the new-contract mating dance.
At this point, given he’s provided silverware, Champions League football and a genuine shot at Premier League and European glory, he deserves it as much as any other manager.
With the money that he has spent and the squad that he has available to him, I think Mourinho’s minimum requirements for earning a new deal must be to ensure that the Red Devils are still in Premier League title contention come April, as well as advancing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Considering their low top flight finishes in recent campaigns and their participation in the Europa League last term, that is a realistic target. However, we all know that Mourinho has only ever lasted for just over three years in charge at a club and his recent comments about United not being his last job have cast doubt on to whether he would actually be willing to commit his future to them.
For me, Jose Mourinho is the right man to lead United into a new era of success.
He has made steady progress at Old Trafford and things are starting to show on the pitch, but a title challenge (at least) is a must for a club as big as the Red Devils.
Anything other than a top two finish should be seen as a failure for a team that is so used to success, and finishing above noisy neighbours Man City must be a priority.
Should Mourinho get the better of Guardiola over the 38-game season, it will go a long way to deciding the title.