Manchester United doesn’t need Jose Mourinho

Credit: The Telegraph
Credit: The Telegraph /

Jose Mourinho may be available but he is not the solution to Manchester United’s problems.

Manchester United are currently in the midst of a tumultuous season, with an ever-growing group of fans clamoring for Louis van Gaal’s departure but Jose Mourinho isn’t the man to clear up the mess.

To make matters worse, there is also an ever-growing list of capable replacements for the managerial position at Manchester United. The most recent candidate to emerge, following his ousting at Chelsea, is Mourinho. After winning the Premier League last year, the Portuguese manager failed to maintain that winning form; with the Blues currently sitting in 16th just above the relegation zone.

Even so, Mourinho, or “the Special One”, has had a prolific coaching career across the European Leagues. In two stints with Chelsea, he won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup once. At Real Madrid, he won the La Liga once while at Inter Milan he won Seria A twice. Additionally, he has won the Champions League twice – once with Porto and once with Inter.

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There is no denying he has the pedigree to manage one of the world’s biggest clubs. The problem is that, as much as supporters will deny it, Manchester United isn’t one of the world’s biggest clubs at the moment. Currently fourth in the Premier League, out of the Champions League despite being in one of the easier groups, and out of the League Cup via a loss in penalties to Middlesbrough, the Red Devils have regressed to being a Thursday night team.

Fortunately, the current manager van Gaal has started to lay the groundwork for his immediate successor. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Guillermo Varela, Jesse Lingard – just a few of the young prospects that the Dutchman has given starting opportunities. Whoever takes over the Red Devils following van Gaal’s departure will likely have a title-worthy squad loaded with talent and depth. The stage will be set for a lengthy period of success across all competitions for the Reds.

Which begs the question: who should be in charge during that spell? Of the current crop of managers which also includes Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, the former Chelsea manager is the least qualified to succeed at a club for an extended period of time. Looking back at his career up to this point, his longest tenure was 182 matches in just over three seasons during his first spell at Chelsea. Three seasons.

I have no doubt that Mourinho could come in to the United team and win a title within the first two years, but in the following years he would hurt more than help. The Chelsea team that won the League last season, featuring many of the same players, now goes into matches against bottom half teams as the underdog. The precipitous fall from the top shows just how much the team relied on staunch defending – through 16 games this year, the defense has allowed twice as many goals than the same stretch last season.

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The two biggest critiques of van Gaal’s reign have been his possession style football making matches difficult to watch and his mismanagement of players, thereby wasting talent. Interestingly enough, the same supporters mocked Chelsea last season for their style of play – parking the bus – despite Mourinho’s team securing the results en route to the title. Moreover, the list of players who wasted away on Chelsea’s bench under the 52-year-old is astounding.

Personally, I would rather see United finish fourth two seasons in row than win the League one year and be relegated the next. I don’t disagree that our current manager has been a disappointment in terms of our competition in Europe and current position in the League given the exorbitant spending, but I do disagree with the desire of some supporters on who should manage next.

Therefore, if you’re looking for immediate success with complete disregard for the long-term future of Manchester United, then you should be all for sacking the current boss and immediately hiring the ‘special one’. But if you’re considering the health of the club for the next decade rather than just the next two or three years, and you genuinely desire change, cross Mourinho off the list as a potential replacement.

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So, if United sack Louis van Gaal in favour of another manager, don’t let that in itself be cause for concern. But, if the upper management opts for Jose Mourinho as his successor, be very concerned for the future of the club.