When Alex Ferguson lead Manchester United to a period of dominance, unrivalled in the English game, the question over what would happen next when the great Scottish leader retired, always hung over Old Trafford.
As other clubs tried and tested managers from here, there and everywhere the consistency in the top job at the club meant that Ferguson could build team after team, develop and nurture world class talent. But when the inevitable, and to some fans unthinkable happened, and Ferguson stepped down the road became less clear.
Moyes lasted only 34 games, the cauldron of Old Trafford and an overly expectant crowd leading tohis early departure. Van Gaal was viewed as a saviour but a string of poor transfers, results andmedia quotes showed he was out of touch with the modern Premier League.
Ultimately, these chain of events paved the way for the Special One.
There was always something of an inevitability about the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford with many bookies backing him to make the transition. As far back as February they were cutting odds to ¼ for him to take over from Gaal. Online the situation was similar with affiliate services and gambling operators offering signup deals on a number of managerial bets. Many of the free bets at Bethut for example were placed early in the managerial race when punters had the best offers on Mourinho’s new appointment.
Jose himself has openly admitted in recent years of his desire to manage at one of the worlds most renowned clubs. As soon as the pressure started to mount on Louis Van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho ‘s second tenure at Chelsea had ended, the jigsaw started to come together.
But Jose Mourinho will not have it all his own way at Old Trafford. To assess his fortunes let us take a look at five key points that will be the deciding factors in whether The Chosen One is the latest Old Trafford hero or the latest Old Trafford nightmare…
1. A Good Start
Both David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal were fighting a losing battle from the off as the United team of old withered away and the players and systems failed to gel as well as expected. United fans have grown increasingly impatient and for every United fan that welcomes Jose Mourinho, there are an equal number who aren’t at all positive about his appointment. A good start is vital to win over fans, critics and to avoid the old Trafford cauldron of hatred rising as it has so often done in the past few season!
2. Play around Pogba
Although much more lucrative options were on the table, Paul Pogba chose Manchester United and Jose Mourinho to ply his trade. The world record transfer shows how serious Jose Mourinho and United are about each other and just as he did at Chelsea with Drogba, Jose Mourinho must look to build his team around Pogba and craft a United side with his own identity.
3. Finish Above City
During most of his tenure, Sir Alex did not have to worry about the blue half of Manchester as very few seasons did they actually contend with his mighty United. But for the modern day Manchester United manager, finishing above Manchester City is a priority. Ask any Untied fan would they rather win the FA Cup or finish above City, and they will all answer with the latter! Jose Mourinho will be expected to finish above their rivals and doing so will ensure United fans are not pointing the finger from his first season
4. Get over 2-season- blue-syndrome
It is a widely known fact that Jose Mourinho tends to succeed for two seasons, start to fail and theneither walk or be pushed out of the door. United fans will want more of a legacy so Jose Mourinho will be judged not only on what he does in Season 1 but the legacy he leaves behind. United fans don’t want a two-and- done performance from Jose Mourinho! They want the next Dynasty
Wayne Rooney needs someone to motivate him to flourish in this stage of his career….is Jose Mourinho that man? If he can get Rooney back to his very best, which the previous two managers have failed to do, Jose Mourinho will have a player on his hands who is as good as a new signing. Whatever happened the story of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United will have ups, downs, highs and lows but I am sure we are all in for an entertaining season! One thing is for sure Jose is a winner and if I were a betting man – I wouldn’t bet against a winner!