Jose Mourinho and Manchester United: A love story without a happy ending

Manchester United supporters be aware. What you say now might come back to bite in three years, or even less.

Since Chelsea’s sacking of Jose Mourinho, United fans appreciation of ‘The Special One’ has increased, with many supporters believing he is the man to return the club to it’s past glory, while UK media have all but confirmed he will be managing United next season.

But for United supporters expecting the return of the Manchester United philosophy, prepare to be disappointed.

Jose doesn’t fill this expectation.

Current manager, Louis Van Gaal has been criticised by fans for implementing a philosophy, consisting of over possession, slow build up play and limited shots on goal.

Van Gaal has also been condemned for spending more than 200 million pounds on players who don’t fit into his system or don’t fit the standards of a Manchester United player.

Mourinho was Van Gaal’s assistant at Barcelona in the late 1990’s and it seems to have taken some of Van Gaal’s habits with him.

Jose Mourinho hates to lose and will do anything to prevent it from happening, including banishing any attacking play from his team.

Mourinho is recognised for playing defensive football, otherwise known as ‘parking the bus’, in crucial games against strong opposition.

Manchester United supporters have attacked Van Gaal and his predecessor David Moyes for their defensive tactics, so it would be ironic for them to support Mourinho.

Manchester United is built on a rich history of promoting players from their illustrious academy. Whether it is the Busby Babes or Fergie’s Fledglings, United’s reliance on academy prospects is outstanding.

Mourinho does not have a reputation of playing youngsters, instead preferring to splash the cash on ready-made players.

Chelsea had some of the most exciting young prospects in their academy during Mourinho’s second stint at the club, yet he still refused to experiment with his side.

At United this could be a different story. Mourinho knows the tradition the club has with its academy and he may feel inclined to give youth a chance, but on the other hand may continue with his tried and tested philosophy.

For all the negativity that comes with Mourinho, there are also some positives.

Mourinho has won 21 trophies in his career, which includes titles in four separate countries (Portugal, England, Italy & Spain) and has won the Champions League on two occasions.

Manchester United have gone three years without any silverware and will be looking to end the draught as quickly as possible.

Dancing with the devil may be United’s only hope of recapturing the success of the past, but if all goes astray, then it will end ugly.


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