José Mourinho Has Adapted His Style To Suit Manchester United And Is Now The Perfect Fit

Posted: February 18, 2017 in Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Arséne Wenger and Louis van Gaal have a couple of things in common. Firstly, they are both past the 65 years of age mark. Secondly, they have been unable to adapt themselves to compete in the modern football world.

It is now seven years since van Gaal won La Liga, his last major championship title and a whopping thirteen years since Wenger last won the Premier League. Yes they have both won cups since those days but even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut and they were both managing historically successful teams at the time.

The problem was and is that they never adapted and evolved with the game. We at WSA have found it difficult to accept that full backs are now called wing backs and are expected to cross the halfway line. The numbering system is completely odd to us. What was wrong with it before? One to eleven seemed a perfectly logical way of doing things. And what’s this about playing with two centre halves? One, flanked by two half backs, was always enough in the distant past. We could go on but there is a limit to the amount of words that can be crammed into one article.

Van Gaal and Wenger have been living in the past for a while now and, because of this, their teams and fans have suffered. Mercifully, United fans only had to suffer the Dutchman for two seasons, after which he was replaced by José Mourinho.

The poor Gooners have had to suffer Wenger winning nothing of any note for a lot longer. His pride has always prevented him from walking away from the job and he has always thought that he had something to offer. Well, no longer Arséne.

The old fashioned way of playing and thinking has long been overtaken by the new kids on the block and their modern tactics. Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and the one to watch, Marco Silva. These are young managers with innovative ideas. They have vision and react more quickly to situations, good and bad, than their older counterparts.

José Mourinho sits in the middle, somewhere between these forty-somethings and sixty-somethings. At 54 years of age he is not old. Conversely, he cannot be considered one of the young managers either, not any longer. He is now the second most experienced manager in the Premier League and the most successful.

He is returning the winning habit to Manchester United and, more to the point, is doing it by playing fast attacking football. All the people who doubted his appointment are now having to eat their words. They said his teams were too defensive for United fans. They said his teams were too boring for United fans. They even said that he didn’t understand the “United way” of playing.

As we expected, he has proved them all wrong. In a very short time he has the team winning, playing football the “United way“, which he appears to fully understand, and nobody falls asleep at Old Trafford any more. In other words he has adapted his own football mentality and philosophy to suit the current situation.

This was something we here at WSA always thought a 54 year old man who has been successful with every club he has managed, (and there were at least four others before United), would be capable of. He is intelligent so it wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he could actually work out what was required at Old Trafford without all the harbingers of doom and idiots in general telling him what he needed to do.

As per usual, people who know nothing about football and people who will never get anywhere near experiencing the success Mourinho has enjoyed, were advising him on what was required to achieve success at United. They were telling him how he needed to play, how he needed to behave and who he needed to buy and sell.

Now, with United the only club challenging in four competitions, they are STILL telling him! It really is quite sad.

He has changed with the different times and situations. He was a different manager at  Inter Milan than he was at Chelsea, he was different again at Real Madrid. Why did anybody think that he couldn’t adapt to life with Manchester United?

Managers who can’t adapt to the pressures and demands of the modern game should admit their failings and retire gracefully. This is a view with which even Arsene Wenger is now beginning to agree so, with a little luck, it’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from him.

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