According to Sky Sports, Jose Mourinho is finally to set to replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United boss, despite the Red Devils winning the FA Cup final 2-1 against Crystal Palace on Saturday at Wembley.
In truth this is probably the worst kept secret in football in the last year, as Mourinho has constantly been linked with United and in the process Van Gaal has been criticised for the team’s style of play.
Comparison between the two bosses
In some ways Mourinho and Van Gaal are similar. Both men have giant egos and have unwavering confidence in their own managerial ability to the point that people will call them arrogant. That sort of self-confidence is fine as long as they back-up their confidence with winning games.
Mourinho has more often not been successful in the last decade at Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and then in a second stint at Chelsea. He has delivered trophies on a consistent basis wherever he has managed.
Despite Chelsea’s disastrous start to the season, Mourinho is still considered as one of the greatest bosses of his generation, if not ever. He will bring success to United, because that’s what he does.
Van Gaal is regarded as an old school boss, but in his homeland many purists of the game consider his method of football dull. In the Netherlands they love their football artists and Van Gaal’s managerial methodical style of play is not to everybody’s taste.
The veteran Dutch boss’ methods were tolerated when his teams were winning. However, when they are not being successful the style of play will be criticised.
Mourinho’s style may be different to Van Gaal’s, but he is also pragmatic when it comes to playing style. The Portuguese boss has produced teams that play good football, but for Mourinho the result seems to be the be-all and end-all.
That is not always a terrible quality to have, as football is a results driven business. If a team wins silverware it is in the history books and there are not usually asterisks by their name criticising style.
Teams that play attractive football may be remembered more fondly, but they are not always successful at claiming the big silverware, with the great Dutch team of the 1970’s a great example of a brilliant team losing both the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals.
Mourinho will turn things around at United
Jose Mourinho is plain and simply a winner. His win rate of 66% is the highest of any manager during the Premier League era, bettering former-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s win rate of 65%.
If his side does not win he will sulk and throw his toys out of the pram, but he will help United challenge for the big trophies. Van Gaal won the FA Cup, but that is not enough for the stature of the club, or the amount that has been invested in the squad.
Mourinho tends to have a big effect on the players in his early days at clubs. He was regarded as a great man-manager and motivator until Chelsea’s poor campaign. However, there are a lot of players with big personalities in that Blues squad.
These are players that can cause big problems for bosses if they want. At United there are fewer players who can and will upset the applecart. Mourinho is also likely to be given a lot of money to spend in the summer.
One downside to Mourinho is that the Portuguese boss does not nurture young players and that may be bad news for the number of youngsters who have broken into the Red Devils squad of late. There will be complaints from some United fans, but the 53-year-old has proven he knows how to bring success to a football club.
Must mount a title challenge next season
The job at United is a simple one for Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils must mount a challenge for the Premier League title next season. This is going to be increasingly difficult for the club as other teams around them will also strengthen.
The bookmakers make them odds of 6/1 to be crowned champions next season, with only Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal shorter odds to win the title.
Love him or loathe him Jose Mourinho knows how to win trophies. If, or probably more likely when the Portuguese is appointed as United boss then the team will have a far better chance of success than under the stubborn Van Gaal next season.
Whether Jose Mourinho is the right man to resurrect United only time will tell, but history tells us that the former-Chelsea boss gets results and there is very little to suggest he will not at Old Trafford.
Is Jose Mourinho the right boss for Manchester United?