If numerous reports are to be believed, certain members of the Manchester United hierarchy are concerned at all of this Jose Mourinho talk, and continue to champion Ryan Giggs to take over from Louis van Gaal.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson are legends at the club and will always be heroes at Old Trafford, but perhaps it’s time for Ed Woodward to listen to the fans, which would mean going against two of United’s most influential figures.
Firstly, this is what the fans want. Admittedly, if the fans always got what they wanted, Mourinho would probably have been appointed back in 2013. Not that we’re still annoyed about that though, Ed. At the time of writing, Mourinho has trounced Giggs on fan polls set up by Red Issue, United We Stand, Red News and the M.E.N. Now, obviously fan pools shouldn’t set the club agenda.
But in this case, it highlights just how much the vast majority of Reds want Mourinho in that dugout after Van Gaal. If Woodward were to alienate the fans again, he would no doubt become an even more unpopular figure at United.
The reasons for the fans’ wariness of appointing Giggs can largely be put down to the lack of experience the Welshman has. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in previous posts. But it’s true, so we can go through it together again. Two wins, a draw and a defeat is by no means a terrible record. But it’s a record that spans just four games.
Let’s get all hypothetical for a minute. Had Giggs been appointed United manager in 2008 when the Reds were English and European champions, it’s likely no one would have batted an eye lid. An inexperienced manager taking over a dominant club is not that concerning. But an inexperienced manager taking over a team in United’s current state, for me anyway, is terrifying. Can United really afford another few years away from the elite? I don’t think so.
Put Mourinho in charge though, and United might just claw themselves back to the elite level where they belong. The Portuguese carries with him a certain fear factor. Exactly what United have been missing of late. A man with a win percentage of 66.01% over 765 games is the sort of manager United need at the minute. The three Premier League titles and two Champions League titles are also a nice added bonus.
Teams used to come to Old Trafford and be afraid of playing United. Be afraid of facing Sir Alex. And with Pep Guardiola taking over the reins across town, whether we like it or not, we’re playing catch up on this one. We need to ensure we’re not left behind by City. Mourinho is surely the right man to do that.
It’s not just the impressive trophy haul that should place Mourinho in pole position to take over from Van Gaal, either. He has worked with some of the biggest and best players in the world, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Didier Drogba in their prime. Not only could this experience with the best help mould the best of the future, but United and Mourinho together could attract the biggest and best to Old Trafford once again.
Just this week Bayern Munich’s Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal was quoted as saying: “I liked the opportunity that they had offered me, but eventually it did not happen and I chose to come to Bayern.” Not so long ago, a player rejecting the chance to play for Manchester United would have been a big deal. Now? Not so much. It’s almost brushed off and sort of expected.
But, and with the risk of repeating myself, surely players would want to be part of a Mourinho project at United. Wouldn’t they? They would, wouldn’t they? Yeah, I’m sure they would!
So; while Sir Alex and Sir Bobby are championing the fairy-tale of Giggs leading United to glory, now just isn’t the time. Now is the time for Woodward to listen to the fans and give them what they want. Mourinho, please.