Every year again, when it’s quiet during the off and pre-season the same topic comes up. Over and over again and last week was no exception to this: José Mourinho hopes to lead Manchester United some day.
Before I analyze what he could bring and wouldn’t bring to Old Trafford, let us get the facts right.
Mr. Mourinho, brilliant strategist as he might be, certainly is NOT the Special One. If one manager deserves this title, it can only be Sir Alex Ferguson. A clsoe contender to SAF would be Carlos Ancelotti, but Mourinho still has lots to prove before he can make his claim valid.
Mourinho a great manager?
There is no doubt that the Portuguese manager a brilliant trainer is and could succeed at most top clubs, as he has proven with Port, Chelsea and Inter Milan. His managerial track record is marvelous and glamorous with 5 league titles and 2 European Cups:
- Porto: Portuguese Liga: 2002-03, 2003-04 – Taça de Portugal: 2002-03 – SuperCup Cândido de Oliveira: 2003 – UEFA Champions League: 2004 – UEFA Cup: 2003
- Chelsea F.C.: FA Premier League: 2004-05, 2005-06 – FA Cup: 2007 – Football League Cup: 2005, 2007 – FA Community Shield: 2005
- F.C. Internazionale Milano: Serie A: 2008-09 – Supercoppa Italiana: 2008
He is is currently on a run of 117 home league matches unbeaten, his last and only defeat at home dating from 23 February 2002.
Could he be a worthy ManUtd manager?
Again there is no doubt that he would be successful but does his style fit the Theatre of Dreams?
If there’s one thing Mourinho does well, very well it is playing with a very organized structure and strategy. He is a master mind strategist, operating with very solid defenses where ever he goes. His game play is rather based on not conceding and scoring ONE goal than on dominating the game and playing an attractive game. This would definitely be a problem at Old Trafford. We, Manchester United fans, have always been spoiled by SAF and previous managers. We love an attractive, offensive game. We love how our team can dominate anyone and push them back in their own half for more than 60% of the whole game. It is brilliant to see how our back for often operates from the midcircle. Mourinho’s approach to the game is entirely different and could not fit the Theatre of Dreams expectations. His style which got him sacked at Chelsea, his boring organized football.
Look, we’re not entertaining? I don’t care, we win.
Mourinho on Chelsea’s performance early in the 2006-2007 season
After having worked all week, on Saturdays we pay big money to watch a game and want to be entertained, not sung asleep!
What about his character?
I am biased here. I certainly love a manager who will occasionally hit out at the opposition. I certainly love it when a manger knows how to play the psychological war game with good ol’ Rafa.
But there’s one issue… the egg debacle.
It is omelettes and eggs. No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.
One of the main elements in favour of SAF is that every player sees him as a father figure. During the week every player will always receive 100% support and ManUtd is probably one of the squads with the best medical support (and patience) throughout Europe. SAF and his crew are patient and can develop talents. Mourinho only aims at buying the best players and hopefully they will become a success in his squad. Think of Kezman.
At ManUtd we ha have a tradition of trying out youngsters and add them slowly to the first squad. I fail to see when the self-proclaimed Special One developed a youngster and I loathe to think how Mourinho would publicly speak about what we call squatties at ManUtd. Those players who in a long season make the difference between winning silverware or not. Silverware because without being super stars even players such as O’Shea, Park and Fletcher are invaluable to our squad. Good, solid and hard working players. Their quality and desire to run out on the pitch and wear our kit honourably makes us stand out of the rest.
Only because our manager values them just as much as any other player. They are trusted. They get games, often to the detriment of the superstar who will be rested. They work, they fight, they win games for us. Mourinho only buys Class One eggs.
Mourinho, yes or no?
There is no doubt that when (if) SAF retires his name will be mentioned and he will be a contender to succeed our legendarily manager. Combined with his great record and his desire to become Manchester United manager he might even snatch the job. We fans will welcome him, because we are a nice bunch. No matter what the past brought, ManUtd fans are the first ones to give people, players a chance to prove themselves. Falling and getting up again is part of our history and has always been an active part of our squad. ManUtd is welcoming and open to anyone who wants to work hard for our badge. Even if they previously .
But I can not see Mourinho become a legend at Old Trafford. I can not imagine that our crowd would be satisfied with the boring game he evangelizes. What’s your take, leave your opinion in the comments.