Jose Mourinho Is Already A Changed Man Since Joining Manchester United

Posted: August 2, 2016 in European Football, Football, Managers, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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He has already said it. If we concentrate solely on each other in this league, then somebody else will win it. It was OK in Spain as there were only usually two clubs competing for the title, so it was good to have some mind games. These are the words, more or less, of Jose Mourinho shortly after taking over at Manchester United.

Who he is trying to convince is rather a mystery. Is it the fans? I doubt it. Most fans will tell you that they love a few mind games. United supporters were always in their element when Fergie was giving it large about some manager or another.

Also, in the not too distant past, Jose himself was known for having a slight dig at opposing managers. Spats with Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez readily come to mind.

Is he trying to convince other managers? I think that even Jose knows that none of them will believe that he has really changed his spots!

Maybe he just wants to convince himself. If he can manage to avoid run-ins with the City boss, amongst others, he can concentrate on what he needs to achieve at United, which is to win the Premier League.

Maybe he means that he will not concentrate on City at the expense of everyone else. He probably feels as though he needs to share his feelings about his fellow managers with anybody who will listen which, in this day and age, is a heck of a lot of people.

Whatever his intentions as far as commenting on others go, the mind games are rarely started by other managers. For example, it is highly unlikely that any utterings will be heard from the Etihad, where Pep Guardiola just wants to get on with the job.

Rafa Benitez is, for the time being anyway, a league below where he wants to be, so he will not come into contact with Mourinho to renew any of their previous verbal battles.

The only potential butting of heads will come when United play Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has a way of saying things that has other coaches replying, even if they know that they shouldn’t. He managed, unintentionally in fairness, to rattle the cage of Sir Alex Ferguson several years ago although again, in fairness, that was not too difficult a feat to achieve.

The plain fact of the matter is that he and Jose Mourinho don’t like each other, so keeping quiet for the good of the game isn’t a virtue either one of them possesses. The United/Arsenal game should be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

To be fair to Jose Mourinho, he has been saying all the right things since he arrived at Old Trafford. He has continually stressed that the club is bigger than any individual, including himself. This is certainly something I don’t recall being said at Chelsea, where he appeared to reign supreme. He has also been talking about how important the squad is and how everybody has to sacrifice for the team, again not subjects which he used to spend any time discussing.

Another noticeable change is that whenever Mourinho is seen he is wearing club branded clothing. Hoodies, track suits, tops and suits, he has worn it all. In fact he is never seen in plain clothes these days. This again is in stark contrast to his Chelsea days when he was occasionally seen in a club tracksuit or a club jacket but, more often than not, just normal everyday clothing.

Is he just getting older and wiser? There is probably some truth in that but, the indisputable fact is that, while he still looks upon his time at Chelsea with fondness, he is approaching his time at United with nothing short of reverence. Long may he continue!

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