United board have finally got it right

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By Andy Jones

  • Mourinho set to be announced as Louis Van Gaal successor in the coming day
  • Andy Jones tells us why the United board have finally got right manager

Barring something totally out of the blue happening, Jose Mourinho is expected to be unveiled as the new Manchester United manager, following the dismissal of Louis Van Gaal.

The feeling amongst many United fans is that the club have finally got it right, having originally overlooked the Special One when Sir Alex retired, instead giving David Moyes a 6 year contract which turned out to be a disaster at every level. In my opinion, this set the club back 3 years.

Van Gaal came in and steadied the ship, yes the football was dreadful at times, but we were hard to beat, the club regained its confidence, shattered under the defeatism of Moyes, who famously aspired to be like Manchester City, and wanted to make it hard for Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Hopefully Louis Van Gaal will be fondly remembered as the years pass, the regimental football overlooked, in favour of a long overdue FA Cup win, and the way in which he conducted himself in his final weeks.

Yes, he missed out on Champions league football, but I’d much rather win the FA cup. You don’t get a trophy for finishing 4th, despite what Arsenal fans would have you believe, and in all honestly, the current United team would not make much of an impact in the Champions League anyway.

So now to Jose. A serial winner, at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. The fear amongst some United fans is that the football he plays is no more exciting than what we have endured under 2 years with Van Gaal.

The stats however tell a different story. he has a premier league win percentage of 66%, higher than Sir Alex with 65% and perhaps more comparably with Wenger on 58%. Yes, previously his average tenure at a club is just over 2 years, but what he brings is success, something both fans, and the United board crave.

At Porto he won the league in both his seasons there, in his first spell at Chelsea he finished 1st, 1st and 2nd. At Inter he won Serie A in both his seasons in Italy. With Real Madrid, he was never outside the top two, finishing 2nd, 1st and 2nd and on his return to Chelsea finished 3rd and then led them to the title.

The myth that he plays a pragmatic style of football is exactly that, a myth. The truth is, he knows how to win football matches, he can coach his players on ‘game management’.

At Inter his team scored 70 and 75 goals in his 2 seasons, at Madrid, his team outscored Barcelona in 2 of his 3 seasons in charge, scoring a staggering 121 goals in winning the title in 2011/12 season. In the Premier League in his first spell at Stamford bridge his side scored 72, 72 and 64 goals, compare that to the measly return of 49 by United this season.

Van Gaal has left the spine of a promising team,  there are additions needed, most noticeably in defence and midfield, but I’m sure Mourinho will have already identified his targets during his time out. I feel that the job is made for the Portuguese.

He has waited patiently for the chance to take over the Old Trafford hot-seat, despite being snubbed first time around. I even think he might stay longer than his usual 3 years, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him given a 5 or 6 year contract when the official announcement is made later this week.

Whatever your thoughts are on Mourinho, and his so called antics, it’s worth remembering that Sir Alex was no saint, and had many run ins with the FA and opposition managers. What the club needs is a figurehead to galvanise the team, to bring back the fear factor and the “us against them mentality” missing in recent years.

I can’t wait for the new season to start, the thought of Pep and Mourinho in the same City going head to head, plus throw in Klopp, Conte, Wenger and Ranieri and it promises to be a memorable year.

The most obvious fact that Jose is the right man for United, is the panic amongst City and Liverpool supporters already being displayed, they know he will bring success.

They were desperate for Moyes to be given more time and even for Van Gaal to see out his final year, but now Mourinho is here to lead us back to the top, roll on August 7 when he leads out the team at Wembley in the Community Shield.

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