Wednesday 24 January 2018

Man United would be mad to hire Jose Mourinho as manager - here's six reasons why

Not everyone is happy at the prospect of Jose Mourinho joining Manchester United
Not everyone is happy at the prospect of Jose Mourinho joining Manchester United

Charlie Eccleshare

If the club really believes in any of its proclamations about philosophy, dynasty and youth promotion, why on earth would it want to hire Mourinho?

1)  Style of play flies in face of traditions

If United hire Mourinho they can once and for all leave aside any holier than thou notion of having a footballing ‘philosphy’ based on buccaneering attacking play.

The arch-pragmatist Mourinho is unashamedly results driven, and given his stubbornness he is hardly likely to compromise that because of a respect for the club’s history.

The reality is that supporters will care little as long as the team is winning, but if they are not, Mourinho’s style will simply make any simmering fan unrest boil over. Just look at their attitude to Van Gaal.

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Jose Mourinho. Photo: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

2)  No regard for developing the kids

Supposedly one of the key tenets of the United ‘philosophy’ is an emphasis on bringing through young players.

From the Busby Babes to the Class of 92, and even to today’s team with the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lingard, the club has put a premium on seeing home-grown talent given its chance.

So far in his career, Jose Mourinho has put little to no importance on youth development, and in his two spells at Chelsea not a single player graduated from the academy to the first team.

If United have any interest in retaining this fundamental part of their identity, then hiring Mourinho would be a disastrous move.

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Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the first goal for Manchester United Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine

3) No dynasty

Another major ideological conflict between Mourinho and United is the importance of dynasty at Old Trafford.

The decades-long reigns of Matt Busby and Alex Ferguson remain the gold standard at United, and the club claims to long for a return to those eras.

Such a long-term legacy though has been the one glaring omission from Mourinho’s CV, with three seasons the longest he has spent at one club.

At Chelsea, as with at Real previously, results dipped dramatically in Mourinho’s third season, with players having fallen out of love with their coach.

United would effectively be waving goodbye to any notion of long-term stability and legacy by hiring the ‘Special One’.

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Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

4) The PR damage

From a public relations perspective, employing Mourinho could be catastrophic, especially with Pep Guardiola taking over at Manchester City.

Mourinho is almost universally disliked by neutrals, especially when placed next to the comparatively saintly Guardiola.

 In a world where winning hearts and minds in far-flung countries is almost as important as results on the pitch, United would be scoring a massive PR own goal by appointing the former Chelsea manager.

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Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho (L) and Barcelona's coach Josep Guardiola react during the Spanish League "El clasico" football match Barcelona vs Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 21, 2012.

5) The financial cost

It’s probably naïve to think that any Premier League club could be constrained by a concern as piddling as money, but Mourinho’s astronomical wages are surely worth considering.

Mourinho’s annual salary at Chelsea was believed to be around £10million, which although probably the going rate for an elite-level manager, is still a monumental amount of money. It would feel even more monumental if paid as one lump sum as a pay-off should Mourinho fail and have to be sacked.

In a season where the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri have excelled on much smaller salaries, United might want to consider hiring their next manager based on something other than hurling as much money as possible at the problem.

This is also known as the England Capello doctrine.

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Claudio Ranieri’s management of Leicester should be an inspiration to all his GAA counterparts. Photo: Getty

6) No guarantee of success

A major assumption with Mourinho is that yes he is high maintenance and can bring bad press, but his results justify the means.

The last few years though suggest Jose is no longer such a winning machine.

 Before Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea this season, results were not just bad, they were atrocious.

Clearly there was much going on behind the scenes that suggest the sequence can be dismissed as a one-off, but the potential for such an implosion must worry the United hierarchy.

The failure at Real Madrid to overhaul a transitional Barcelona is also evidence that hiring Mourinho is no guarantee of success.

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Mourinho with the Premier League trophy

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