Regardless of what Sir Alex Ferguson has recently stated, there will come a time in the future where Manchester United will need to appoint a new manager, for the first time in over twenty five years.
Who should succeed Fergie has already brought plenty of debate/discussions in pubs, football forums and radio phone-in’s. Jose Mourinho seems a popular choice but some have their reservations. The man to replace Fergie will have to be mentally strong and have the personality to cope with the pressure of succeeding the greatest manager the football world has seen.
Jose Mourinho announced himself to the football world six years ago when his then Porto (the then reigning UEFA cup winners) team scored a late winner to knock United out at the last 16 stage of the Champions League. We all remember his celebration – charging down the touchline like a madman.
Since that night Mourinho has won virtually everything in the game. Porto followed their victory over United by claiming their second Champions League/European Cup. With Chelsea, Mourinho won Chelsea their first league titles in fifty years.
At both Inter and Chelsea, Mourinho has had plenty of financial resources. Will Mourinho have the money to spend considering our current financial state… Could it be argued Mourinho requires money to be successful or does winning the Champions League with Porto disprove this theory?
Mourinho’s preferred style of play is a valid discussion point. We’ve been spoilt under Fergie in that we’ve played attractive attacking football whilst winning trophies. It would be fair to say; Mourinho prefers a more dogged, robotic and mechanical approach. However, the man gets results! Do we really want to be like Arsenal? Play attractive football, receive endless plaudits but remain trophy less?
A point which slightly irks (well more than slightly), Mourinho likes to be centre of attention. Was his celebration in the victory against Barcelona more about Mourinho or defeating the current Champions League holders? Fergie is no shrinking violet in terms of knowing his own importance, but he realises Manchester United the club are bigger than any one individual. The English media absolutely love Mourinho (makes their job easier with his sound bites) so will no doubt receive an easier ride than a David Moyes.
If you want short term success Mourihno is your man. There is no doubting Mourinho’s credentials, he will win trophies at United. My worry is the lack of faith he places on youth set up system. Manchester United are famed for their youth development from the Busby Babes to Fergie’s Fledglings. How many youth players has Mourinho developed during his time as manager? I’m struggling to be honest. However, could it be argued he turned the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Deco into better players?
My initial thoughts were Mourinho mainly due to his personality (not for his style of play). In the last month I’ve shied away from idea. I’m now leaning towards David Moyes.