As last season came to an end, it was represented United’s fifth full campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm. It seems like a lifetime ago when he bid farewell to the Theatre of Dreams, leaving David Moyes in charge of the biggest job in football. As we all know to say that didn’t go so well would be something of an understatement and after surviving two more years of frustrating football with Louis van Gaal, the fans’ reward for such patience came in the form of Jose Mourinho. The manager formerly known as the Special One.
When the rumours began to surface that Mourinho could be the next United manager, my immediate thoughts were “No – he is not the type of manager that would suit United”. Although to be fair neither were Moyes and Van Gaal.
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Like many Reds, I grew up on diet of Sir Alex’s football, which mixed entertainment, last-gasp winners and perennial title challenges. The tactics were often simple, but effective, a wonderful 4-4-2, wingers with impressive pace and forwards who were always in the right place at the right time.
Mourinho has the same ingredients that Sir Alex had, but he often seems to be lacking the offensive powers that could create something constructive. Results are paramount, but while under Sir Alex, entertainment was also deemed important, with Jose one can’t help but feel it’s becoming irrelevant.
Despite having players such as Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, a trio most managers in the world could only dream of having in their team, Mourinho still relies on defensive play, it is his priority as our attack wait in the shadows.
However, Mourinho has given us trophies, and whilst it is no Champions League, he still led us to a Europa League title.
But is that enough? For me, no.
Mourinho is 6/1 to be the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season with RedArmyBet *
Everyone loves a trophy, but I also love when my team play offensive and attractive football, something I have not seen since 2013.
So, should he stay or go?
I believe if Mourinho can alter his stance on defensive football and create a more attractive game that could almost replicate the halcyon days of Fergie time and last-minute winners that had fans jumping from their seats, then he should stay.
However, the chance of this realistically is minimal, with the Portuguese manager having a history of being stubborn, especially when his third season syndrome kicks in.
If a Mourinho-sized hole is left at Old Trafford, there are only a few people who can fill it. For me, I would love to see Zinedine Zidane or Diego Simeone as manager. They have the attractive and offensive style that we so desperately need, what Simeone’s team lack in bravado they make up for in sheer determination, while Zidane’s teams much like the man himself are often a joy to watch.
Or perhaps it’s closer to home United should look, maybe Sir Alex’s old favourites Giggs or Scholes could bring back the magic of Sir Alex’s reign? Much depends on Giggs’ time with the Welsh national side, while Scholes seems so hellbent on undermining the Mourinho you have to wonder whether he doesn’t fancy the job himself. If he does, he’ll need to do more than just criticise from the safety of his commentary chair, he’ll need to find a club and achieve enough success to show he’s ready to show Mourinho how it’s done, no easy feat.
Whilst I admit I have been spoiled thanks to the Fergie years, I desperately want to enjoy the game when I see United play – is that really too much to ask? At the moment, it would seem it is.
*Odds subject to change.