Jose Mourinho’s media-plagued appointment at Manchester United is the club’s third managerial move since Sir Alex Ferguson left three years ago.
Since then, the Red Devils’ hierarchy has well and truly struggled to maintain any level of sustainability. We’ve seen David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal’s terms end in ultimate failure and the sack, and we could be set to see Mourinho face the same eventually.
Lets face it, Manchester United are a club that are seemingly still in transition. They’ve not recovered from Fergie’s departure and they’ve struggled to find an identity since he left more than 36 months ago. With Mourinho, they’ve got a character – a man who the media love to hate – but in a time of choppy waters, would a more astute candidate have been a more viable and sensible option?
LVG was seen as that man, but after a few short months it seemed that Ed Woodward and co’s choice didn’t settle as well as all involved would have hoped. He spent around £260m on transfers and this year failed to lead his side into the Champions League. But now it’s ‘The Special One’ who has to turn fortunes around.
But his hyped up appointment may not be as rosy as some may think. Juan Mata and Daley Blind have already been told they may be surplus to requirements and Mourinho looks like he will take no nonsense – but we’ve seen this before. He will come in and demand things and the United board will struggle to turn his requests down – the fans want results and if it’s their tenacious manager demanding things, they will soon buckle.
Mourinho’s appointment well and truly defies the ‘mystique and romance’ that’ve become synonymous with Man United over the years. But with other clubs upping the ante when it comes the managerial appointments, United had no choice but to do the same. Someone like Ryan Giggs may have been a better candidate to lead the club out of their rut – just look at the effect Zinedine Zidane has had since taking over at Real Madrid – as fans love a club legend that can turn into a fantastic coach. Whilst Giggs may not be able to give the sparkling interviews that journalists lap up, he may have been a better option. After all, United need to take them.
United’s style of football under Mourinho will change tenfold, too. It’s unlikely the ‘attack, attack, attack’ chants that rung around Old Trafford will be as loud next season as the Portuguese manager prefers a more forward-thinking style of play, but this carries its own risks also – a more aggressive and upmarket approach may please the fans, but it can leave your defence susceptible to teams that can hit you on the break.
Mourinho will bring undoubted charisma and energy to the hot-seat, but the move could be a disaster. He’s been ‘The Special One’ and ‘The Happy One’, but what will he be at Old Trafford?