A lot of people, when Sir Alex Ferguson retired, were under the impression that Jose Mourinho would be the next United manager.

At that time, people involved in the decision making process would have included Ferguson, Bobby Charlton, Ed Woodward, one or more of the Glazers, another director or two and probably David Gill.

My guess is that Ferguson favoured Mourinho and he would probably have had the support of his friend, David Gill. That the vote obviously went against the “Special One” is probably due to Bobby Charlton and the other directors. This would be particularly true if any of them, like Charlton, were there during the Busby era.

Back in the seventies when Tommy Docherty had an affair with Mary Brown, the wife of United’s physiotherapist Laurie Brown, the club waited for Busby to return from holiday for a decision on Docherty. Within hours of Busby’s return, “The Doc” was fired, even though he later went on to marry her. This way of thinking, whereby nothing can be done to tarnish the image of the club, stays with Charlton, but he appears to be the last of a dying breed.

As history tells us, David Moyes went on to get the job and fail abysmally and Mourinho returned to Chelsea. It seemed like everything had worked out the way it was planned, but I doubt that were the case.

Moyes would have been the choice of the more conservative board members, including Charlton. Ferguson, realising Mourinho wasn’t about to take his seat, threw his weight behind the Moyes appointment. So much so in fact, that a lot of people thought that Ferguson personally employed Moyes without anyone else being in the discussion.

Now things are slightly different. David Gill is still an ally of Ferguson and still on the board, but Bobby Charlton no longer carries the weight he once did. United have tried a big name manager in Louis van Gaal and, although everything seemed fine initially, questions are now being asked as to why the club sits fifth in the table and is out of the Champion’s League before the knockout stage, particularly when van Gaal has spent approximately £258 million on new players.

He is being criticised by supporters for his negative style of football so he has a problem. Fans will accept, for a while anyway, dullish football with trophies. They will accept for even longer good attacking football without trophies. They will not accept dull football and no trophies!

Van Gaal, unfortunately appears to be living in the past. There are reported clashes with players over the training routines, over team selection, over tactics. He does a good job of keeping a lid on it but, at some stage, it may just boil over.

So, into the equation steps Jose Mourinho. Recently relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge for playing dull football, losing and looking like the season will end trophy-less for Chelsea.

This is why a lot of United supporters are questioning why the club is even considering him. Why replace van Gaal’s particular brand of dull and boring with Mourinho’s?

It has to be remembered through all this that van Gaal last won a significant trophy five years ago when his Bayern Munich team won the Bundesliga. Mourinho was Premier League champion six months ago! Winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich is not the same challenge as winning the Premier League with Chelsea.

Also, Mourinho is not stupid. He knows the history of United and he knows what the fans want. He may very well win the FA Cup with United which would be a very satisfactory half-season with the club. The fans wouldn’t care too much about the style of football initially because they would give Mourinho a chance. They always give a new manager a chance. Once Mourinho has a little credit with the fans he would then set about making United an attractive team to watch again. He knows how to get the fans on his side, just look at the Chelsea supporters reaction to his sacking when the club was struggling!

Providing he can curb the fallouts with players, other managers, the FA and anybody else connected with the game, he could very well be the best manager Manchester United could turn to at present.

  1. RedMe says:

    I don’t think that Jose can curb the fallouts with players, managers , referees. But I remember SAF telling A.Wenger to zip it and keep it well zipped , he fell out with players and Why Say Anything about referees.


  2. Y Ng says:

    As always when i read 90mins and see u have posted I’m happy to then click on ur link and read ur columns/articles…and I some what agree with you here too on miurinho being a good fit given time as im sure every1 would agree this would be an appointment where the manager would have a lot to prove (dishing out revenge to all around but us obviously lol)
    although a long Utd fan I’m unaware of this tale of the doc and the mistress lol but Ohh well it does seem to fit in with ur conclusion though on why moyes and then LVG appt because till this bloody day I don’t get the decisions I swear down blindly I could lead Utd just much better than the collective failed two of moyesy and LVG…many thanks


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