It's time to bring that winning mentality back to Manchester United
Can Jose Mourinho change the fortunes at Old Trafford?
Things haven’t been going well for some time now for Louis van Gaal, despite the FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace, so Manchester United have had plenty of time to look for an alternative manager, and according to reports over the weekend they’ve landed on Jose Mourinho. The man has a winning reputation and more than anything, Manchester United have to get back to winning ways.
Mourinho knows enough about English football and the mentality around Manchester United that he may be willing to change his mentality. It’s all about winning things absolutely, yet with United it has to be done with style. Mourinho has been around English football long enough to understand that. Jose will have seen two managers come and go at Old Trafford, seen all the speculation, he’s been in the country while it has been happening, and he knows what it takes to be Manchester United manager. He knows what people expect. That winning mentality is there for all to see, but he’ll be clever enough to change his philosophy and get into the Manchester United mould.
It’ll be tough for Mourinho to win a trophy in his first season though, and the Europa League title is probably the Red Devils’ best hope. The league stages of the competition aren’t too hard so United should fly through that while the former Chelsea boss is assessing his squad and figuring out his desired XI. He’ll also have the chance in January to dip back into the transfer market if necessary and hopefully towards the latter part of the season Mourinho’s United will be kicking on and hitting top gear in time for the final stages of the Europa League.
The Premier League may be a step too far in his first season based on United’s performances this year, but you never know. If he can get things rolling and clicking very quickly then those odds of will tumble. Mourinho is proven, he knows what it takes to win the league – giving him the edge over Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Antonio Conti at Chelsea, and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp – but it’ll be very difficult.
Results haven’t been good enough under LVG, and the money he spent on players hasn’t helped his cause. It felt at times like there was a bit of panic buying during his tenure as he forked out more than £250m and posted league finishes of fourth and fifth. Jurgen Klopp came into Liverpool and has had time to analyse his squad and weigh up what he has before going into the market. When the money is on offer, as it was to Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, the tendency is to go straight in and get some new faces at the club. It’s not about getting new players in though, it’s about getting the right players in who can perform at the top level. Manchester United is like no other club in the country – and you’re under such a spotlight at United you have to be able to perform under incredible pressure.
Van Gaal was at the club for two years and has not lived up to expectations. The legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson might be making it very difficult for other managers to come in after him at old Trafford and compete. Ferguson made United play a certain style of football and they haven’t been playing in that manner since he left. It’s very hard to go in and fill the shoes of Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager, but that is what fans are expecting.
Now it’s not just about winning games, it’s about winning them in style – so over to you Mr Mourinho.