It’s happened then. Jose Mourinho finally has the Man Utd job after a second season of under achievement from Louis Van Gaal ended in his inevitable sacking. It’s been the worst kept secret in football for the past few months now, and for neutrals it will come as something of a relief, if only because the Sun will now have to stop telling us it’s going to happen every single day.
But for United fans, the news will bring a mixed reaction. On the one hand, they generally don’t like Jose Mourinho. He has hardly ingratiated himself to the Old Trafford faithful over the years, dating right back to his power slide down the touchline in 2004. Then moving on to his two spells at Chelsea where he did everything possible to annoy fans of all other clubs.
I was present (as a neutral) when Mourinho brought his Inter side to Old Trafford back in 2009. It was perceived that the self styled Special One had fallen from grace after being sacked by Chelsea (this was before he took Inter to the Champions League title of course) and United fans delighted at the opportunity to sing “You’re Not Special Any More” to him.
Can those fans really swallow their pride and welcome Mourinho as their saviour now?
The trouble is, they need one. Three years without a Premier League title – or even a challenge – represents a severe drought for United. Mourinho guarantees at least a top 4 finish, and with the resources that will be at his disposal, he’ll probably win the league. This will come before the inevitable implosion, where he will fall out with the players and staff before leaving the club in worse state than he found it. Is that a fair trade to win a league in the meantime?
The short termists and glory hunters will say yes. The long termists and purists will say no. It depends which side of the fence you sit.
At least everyone who has already purchased their Mourinho / United half and half scarves can now get some use out of them.