With a deal reportedly all but agreed, Chelsea fans face the prospect of their beloved Jose Mourinho taking the helm at arguably the biggest club in the country, Manchester United.
The desperation for Mourinho to come in immediately has been intensified by United’s current form, or lack of, which has lead to intense pressure on the club’s hierarchy to relieve Louis van Gaal of his duties. It seems as though Chief Executive Ed Woodward will stick by the Dutchman for the remainder of the season, avoiding the same gaffe which saw David Moyes sacked and Ryan Giggs take over. Woodward has had a tough time taking over from the popular David Gill and has still yet to win over a big section of the United supporters.
If Manchester United and Mourinho manage to strike a deal, the trophy-less days could be over. Mourinho brings a certain package, but in that package there is silverware, for two years at least.
The Red Devils are yet to win a major trophy, or even come close to winning one, since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, with successors Moyes and Van Gaal having fallen short of the lofty expectations at the Theatre of Dreams. This has led to the club’s worst trophy drought since 1989, so you see why there is fervent support for Mourinho take charge.
While the Mourinho appointment, on paper, looks a match made in heaven, do Manchester United want temporary success with a manager who brings a negative image to any club he manages, or a long-term coach who can rebuild the image and brand of football Ferguson spent 25 years sculpting?
It is worrying to see a club with such resources and stature so bereft of a clear strategy of where they will be in five or ten years time. If Mourinho does eventually become the manager, it becomes clear the strategy of the club is to claim silverware. United have a major rebuilding task to do with an ageing squad and Mourinho has not shown he is capable of being the man to lead the revival.
The Portuguese boasts an impressive record, including all his league and Champions League titles, but his CV is somewhat blemished by three sackings – two at Chelsea and one at Real Madrid – all for his inability to build on the benchmark set in his first two seasons.
There are concerns about Mourinho’s personality and style of football, and rightly so. The 53-year-old seems to be involved in some sort of dust-up, whether it is with rival Premier League managers or referees, he is always in the spotlight for the same reasons.
Mourinho’s Chelsea claimed the title last season without breaking a sweat, but a case can be made that they were among the most ‘boring’ winners, in terms of style of play. The United fans have been bored rigid by countless 0-0s already this season and whether they will welcome Mourinho’s defensive style is an interesting proposition.
Despite being a serial winner, Mourinho cannot sustain this for a lengthy period of time. The former Chelsea manager also does not incorporate youth much into his plans, something which will worry the club’s hierarchy, one that includes Ferguson.
It all seems rushed. A panicking Manchester United, petrified of falling even more behind the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City, are looking to install a short-term remedy for a long-standing problem. A clear strategy and plan would be much more advised than the panicky hiring of Jose Mourinho, should it to materialise.
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