Saturday 29 April 2017

Jose Mourinho eager to shed image of pantomime villain to establish new era of dominance at Man United

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho will look to change his image after landing his dream job at Manchester United, as he intends to lay out a vision to set up a long-running dynasty at Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s reputation as a manager who offers a quick fix solution to top clubs eager to get back to winning ways was one of the reasons why there was some opposition to his appointment at United.

Yet Mourinho is determined to shed that tag, with insiders confirming that he has spoken about laying down foundations at United that could see him remain at the club well beyond his three-year contract.

United have confirmed that they have an option to extend his current contract that expires in 2019 for another year, with Mourinho hoping to end his days as a globe trotting manager, after two spells with Chelsea were interlaced with successful stints in charge of FC Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Mourinho is expected to outline his plans for a long stay at United when he meets the media for the first time as the club’s new manager, with these words that he uttered following his second coming at Chelsea likely to be repeated.

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“What was the big word we spoke about when I sat down to talk through plans with the Chelsea people – it was stability, stability,” stated Mourinho in a briefing with Sunday newspaper reporters in the summer of 2013.

“This is good for the development of a club like Chelsea. Good for young players coming through to have the same structure for many years, good for the senior players to have a relationship with a manager for a long time. Good for everybody.

“What is success? I am not worried about that, not worried with that. I am worried about high quality work in every area I can interfere, in every area I can influence. I think that is a good definition of success.

 “If we work well together with a good plan moving forward, success comes naturally. You don’t need to chase it, to be obsessed by it as success will come. We are all in the same dimension. Everyone accepts the way we are going and now we are all moving in the same direction.

“We look at the model of Alex Ferguson at Man Utd. He stays for many years and while it may not be possible to stay for so long at one club again, that is what I want in my career now.”

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Mourinho now gets his chance to follow in Ferguson’s footsteps and he has made it clear to United officials that he will look to embrace the club’s younger players, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw among the rising stars who will be under his command after he succeeded Louis van Gaal last month.

Mourinho is expected to highlight the importance of the progression of youth team players to his first team when he outlines his vision for the future at United, as he looks to banish another criticism of his past that has tended to be based around his cheque book management style of signing ready made stars and fitting them into a winning unit.

While Mourinho accepts that he needs to secure Champions League football in his first season at United, he will be keen to suggest he needs time to rebuild the club's squad, with his emphasis on a long-term vision at the forefront of his rhetoric.

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We can also expect to see a lot more evidence of Mourinho embracing Manchester United's rich history, with his appearance alongside Bobby Charlton at the club's training ground a few days ago the start of a PR drive to highlight his reverence of the club's traditions.

Mourinho's eagerness to appoint a former United legend to a key role in his back room staff is another attempt to soften his image as a maverick manager who does things his own way.

If Ryan Giggs makes his expected United exit in the coming days as he looked to forge his own management career, expect former greats like Rio Ferdinand (below) or Gary Neville to be in the mix for a coaching position under Mourinho at United.

So it seems as if we may be about to see a rebranded Mourinho when he dons his Manchester United blazer, yet it remains to be seen whether this firebrand character has what it takes to mould himself into a fresh guise as he looks to build a career-defining empire at Old Trafford.

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