Wednesday 23 March 2016

United and Mourinho a match made in heaven

Alleged letters to United's board, eye-watering pre-contract agreements, desperate phone calls to agents - for the already beleaguered Louis van Gaal the spectre of Jose Mourinho just will not go away.

Everyone has a opinion on why Mourinho is the right, or wrong, man for the job.

When Pep Guardiola was announced as the next Manchester City manager, there was a palpable ratcheting up of calls for the Portuguese to be brought in, leading to the suggestion that should United do so, it would be in direct response to City's latest move.

This, however, ignores the fact that a great many people felt Mourinho should have been the one to replace Sir Alex Ferguson in the first place.

As it was, David Moyes got the United gig and Mourinho returned to Chelsea.

Moyes reputation was battered like a boat on the high seas and Mourinho, too, left Chelsea with his stock at its lowest point since he entered into football management.

The whole footballing world is well versed in United's reasons for not hiring Mourinho almost three years ago and their similar reluctance to do so now: his constant courting of controversy, his poor record in promoting youth, the short-termism of his management career so far and his oft-criticised style of football.

But the acute sense of destiny about Jose Mourinho riding into Old Trafford in his freshly polished armour, to save the club from imminent disaster and put them back on the map, is inescapable.

At Chelsea, he spoke of settling down and creating a dynasty - but it never felt like his heart was in it.

At least not at Stamford Bridge.

Were he to succeed Van Gaal, perhaps Mourinho, having finally landed his dream job, would lay down roots.

The desire to re-prove himself after his disastrous third season at Chelsea must be strong, but a man as ferociously ambitious as Mourinho would surely dream of emulating - if not surpassing - Ferguson's incredible record at our club.

He could only hope to do that if he embraces the kind of managerial longevity that has, thus, so far proved alien to him.

Mourinho moves in his own self-made maelstrom and comes with his own early warning system, but then again Ferguson was not exactly a ray of sunshine either.

There has been a distinct lack of grit, fight and guile about United - on and off the field - since Ferguson retired and Mourinho would instil the us-against-the-world siege mentality that the Scot made his own.

United's options appear thin on the ground and Mourinho is clearly the obvious choice to replace Van Gaal.
There are risks involved whoever United decide to appoint, and the constant speculation means an undignified exit to Louis van Gaal's own glittering career.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Manchester United and Jose Mourinho could be, at this moment in time, a match made in heaven. 

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