Why Jose Mourinho may struggle to live up to high expectations at Man Utd

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 24 May 2016, 14:30

Jose MourinhoWith Manchester United all set to announce the imminent appointment of Jose Mourinho, The Sun's Andy Dillon (andydillon70) looks at what the Portuguese coach will bring to the Red Devils, and why it may not quite be what the fans are expecting.

THERE IS A reason why Manchester United are ready to pay their next manager £15 million a year and it's not exactly rocket science.

The ruthless Glazer family who own the club want it all: the biggest trophies, entertaining football and the best players to get the cashflow rolling again into the Old Trafford coffers.

That's just what Roman Abramovich demanded too when he re-appointed Jose Mourinho in 2013.

And it‘s precisely because he didn't get it that he sacked The Special One last December with his club in ruins.

It was Mourinho who claimed he had been ‘betrayed' by his players after they succumbed to a limp 2-1 defeat at Leicester on December 14 - knowing what we know now of course that's no great shame.

But doesn't Abramovich have cause to say the same thing about his former manager? The Russian was paying through the nose for the most self-assured boss in the business and got a terrible return for his cash.

Top managers really do earn their vast salaries when things are going badly, not when they are going well.

It's easy money picking the team when it is winning every week, sweeping the opposition aside and simply turning up to collect trophies.

The difficult bit is working out a solution when it's all gone wrong, when your best players suddenly aren't producing the goods, when the chairman and the fans are on your back and you are being beaten easily by vastly inferior teams.

And that's where Mourinho failed.

When Chelsea started losing with alarming regularity last season, his responses ended up tainting his reputation as the self-appointed Special One and the man who could out-think, out-manoeuvre and out-shout anyone in his way.

As results and performances fell away, Mourinho set up a killer rotation system in which he took out a different top player every week and dropped him, in an unsubtle attempt to weed out the failures in his team.

It did not turn things around as he hoped only creating confusion at best and resentment at worst among the players who had won the Premier League title for him just a few months previously.

The low point came on October 3 when shaken midfielder Nemanja Matic was subbed only 28 minutes after coming OFF the bench against Southampton.

Brazilian midfielder Oscar was always the fall guy of Mourinho's attempts at a rethink during a game. It became a standing joke that we all knew which number was going to appear when the fourth official held up his board for the first substitution in any game.

For proof of the contempt in which Mourinho was held by some players, just watch a rerun of Chelsea versus Sunderland - the first game after his departure. Watch Oscar fly.

Man Utd have sacked Louis van Gaal for failing to get them into the top four and missing out on Champions League football but also because his playing style did not fit.

Don't assume Mourinho is going to transform them into the Harlem Globetrotters. His football is eye-catching for its pace and formidable attitude; the downright spikiness of his players and refusal to lose - when it is going well of course.

But there is a reason why Eden Hazard was the first player dug out publicly by Mourinho as early as last August after losing at home to Crystal Palace - a far more embarrassing result than going down at Leicester.

Hazard is Chelsea's Lionel Messi. The Belgian is the wily midfielder who drifts around the pitch picking pockets and lighting up Stamford Bridge with his technique.

On song he is football meets Strictly Come Dancing but when he hit a few duff notes it got right up Mourinho's nose and he couldn't hold back.

That could be why Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo had their differences at Real Madrid too you think?

Mourinho will make Manchester United work harder, complain more and get in the opposition and officials' faces far more than they have done this season - but if it's catwalk football you want then look elsewhere. It won't be that special.


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