Sunday 25 February 2018

Five people who will be fearing Jose Mourinho's arrival at Manchester United

Bobby Charlton and Alex Ferguson
Bobby Charlton and Alex Ferguson

Jose Mourinho is expected to be appointed as manager of Manchester United imminently following the sacking of Louis van Gaal on Monday.

The news has, generally, been received well by supporters of the club, many of whom have been asking the club’s hierarchy to take action since December, when Mourinho was himself dismissed by Chelsea.

The Portuguese coach has coveted the Old Trafford job for a long time and was in the running to succeed United’s most successful boss, Alex Ferguson, in 2014. The decision to appoint David Moyes, supposedly on Ferguson’s recommendation, reportedly reduced him to tears.

In private moments today, perhaps while discussing his salary with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, there will be a smile on his face.

The same cannot be said for several others at the club, who may be dreading Mourinho’s appointment.

Juan Mata

You have to feel sorry for the Spaniard. After winning Chelsea’s Player of the Year award twice on the bounce, he saw himself shipped out of Stamford Bridge in the January following Mourinho’s return. The former Real Madrid and Internazionale boss simply did not fancy him.

Now, he finds himself at Mourinho’s mercy once again. In fairness, although he can be the side’s stand-out player on his day, Mata has struggled to consistently make the most of his considerable ability. It could be best for all parties if United cash in.

SOCCER Norw_25.jpg
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata celebrates scoring the winner against Norwich last Saturday. Photo: PA

Ryan Giggs

Overlooked for the main job after David Moyes’ departure, Giggs is now facing an effective demotion, according to widespread reports. Mourinho wants long-time side-kick Rui Faria to be his assistant, which would leave Giggs with merely a coaching role.

He has seen fellow members of the Class of ’92 fly the nest to forge a career in coaching. It would be wise for him to do the same.

Ryan Giggs faces a crucial decision on his future in management. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Daley Blind

Blind would have liked Van Gaal to stay at Old Trafford

bournemouth 3.jpg
Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie controls the ball under pressure from Daley Blind

Bobby Charlton

The first meeting between Mourinho and the club’s ambassadors may be an awkward affair, especially when he ends up swapping phatic talk with United’s greatest icon. Bobby Charlton previously cast doubt on the Portuguese’s suitability for the Old Trafford role.

Read more:

Jorge Mendes: Jose's man who holds all the cards 

Speaking about Mourinho’s eye-gouging of Tito Vilanova, Charlton said: "A United manager wouldn't do that. Mourinho is a really good coach but that's as far as I would go really.

“He pontificates too much for my liking,” he added. “He's a good manager, though." It was, probably, the only time that Charlton has publicly questioned another person’s character. Now, he finds that same man in charge of his football club.

Sir Bobby Charlton joined United in 1953 and made 758 appearances for the club, scoring a record 249 goals

Alex Ferguson

Much has been made of the friendship between Ferguson and Mourinho, although it’s hard not to believe that some tensions exist between the two.

Both have always done their best to stress their respect for each other but Mourinho was hurt when he was overlooked for the job in 2014. Ferguson, of course, recommended Moyes.

He also has hardly been forthcoming in support for the Portuguese, but did say that Louis van Gaal should be given time in the job and even offered help to Giggs, in case his former charge took the big job.

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson

(© Independent News Service)

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