Friday, September 21, 2007

Mourinho to be United's next manager?

Jose Mourinho leaving Chelsea is without doubt one of the biggest stories in football for a long time. Predictably we are being told that several key players including Didier Drogba are furious. It seems his most loyal players might follow him out of the door. The big question is where to?

Yesterday, Mourinho and his team were locked in discussions about his settlement package. Today we have been told that all contractual matters have been resolved. Apart from agreeng the huge pay-off for the remainder of his contract, you do wonder if Chelsea have inserted a clause stating that Mourinho cannot join rivals Manchester United. If it happened that would be an even bigger story than leaving Chelsea.

As all football fans will be aware, Ferguson is on a rolling contract and he could go at any time, possibly as early as next summer. It could be a case of perfect timing, that's if United fancy Jose and he fancied the challenge of managing a proper football club.

Should such a move happen, I'm not convinced the appointment would be greeted with deep joy as far as the massed ranks of the Red Army are concerned. Jose's teams do not play in the best traditions of United. What's more Mourinho is something of a loose cannon and here again would this be to the liking of United's owners and senior management team?

Mourinho's record is one of success and lots of it, but there's a trade-off between winning and style. Jose would actually be more suited to Liverpool, who by tradition have a built teams that have been greater than the sum of the individual parts, that ethos was laid down by Shankly and it still true to a point today, though obviously to a much lesser extent in their recent barren years, sans Premier League titles.

I personally doubt Mourinho will replace Fergie, but it will no doubt be up for discussion by United's power-brokers.

There would be other huge problems to overcome. Assuming Mourinho wanted the likes of Drogba and Carvalho to join him. And assuming Chelsea could not stop Jose from joining United for one moment, they'd move heaven and earth to stop their players moving to the Reds.

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