The man was in London the evening when Manchester United triumphed in the FA Cup which was to be a certain Dutchman’s last game in charge. The man at London was there for a purpose. He knew what was coming and for all the humiliation that he suffered the previous few months, this job, it seems, had been deemed to have come at the right time of his career.
The affair of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United which was so far expressed through signs, dialogues, respect as well as remarks was given a chance to build upon but as the manager of one of English Football’s top clubs, it came to the pressure of the glorious history and the expectations were humongous.
We live in the modern era of football where the popular notion is to expect immediate results whenever a new manager arrives and it is the expectations that lead to so much criticism and evaluation of what we don’t want to see or happen but what we often fail to realize is that a club is coming out of the clutches of its past and it has to be remoulded along the philosophical and tactical lines of the new manager and for that outcome, it takes a time.
Jose Mourinho’s team started off on a really high note establishing itself as a major contender for the title but that soon faded away. Frustrating games and results against teams like Watford, Stoke City and Burnley recently have put the manager’s position in jeopardy and the team selection has been baffling for the fans.
The continuous exile of Bastian Schweinsteiger has added to the growing frustration and the repeated exclusion of Henrikh Mkhitaryan hasn’t helped either. The outpour of mixed emotions is not new for a club that is, by all means, trying to re-establish itself into a force to reckon with. Once again like it has been in recent times, the question resurfaces itself. Is Jose Mourinho finished and the Manchester United job came at the wrong time?
Jose openly said that he needed time to build a team despite spending the money. At a club where building up applies literally to everything, the squad, in particular, Mourinho has clearly pointed out that he has a squad of aging players who can’t feature every match and hence the reconstruction of the squad will definitely take time.
The arrivals of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly shows one clear motive and which was to strengthen the team in four departments with specialists and hence making the team better. The character that he has, Mourinho likes things to go as he wants and he’s seen to be breaking the strong Ferguson stranglehold as well. The signing of Paul Pogba for such a lavish fee especially proves that.
Ferguson didn’t approve of Pogba’s agent (Mina Raiola) and didn’t have a good relationship with the player either but Mourinho’s trusted the rising Frenchman after his incredible exploits with Juventus and brought him back. Even Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan are the clients of agent Raiola. Getting rid of Ryan Giggs was another major development and it just shows that Mourinho is slowly, event by event turning the club like he wants to be.
Beside all this part about developing the squad, history stands alongside Mourinho as well. He talked about taking up a challenging club and turning into a major fore and digging deep into the history we find the evidence in support of him and nothing else.
Porto were languishing at fifth place behind their nemesis Benfica when Jose took up the challenge. In the elite competition of Europe that is the Champions League, they were at the bottom of the group stage and big turnover started when Jose took the helm. He finished third in his first year and then identified key players, building up a squad like he wanted and before exiting for Chelsea, he had already won the Portuguese League, the Champions league and the Europa League with Porto.
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