Will Jose Mourinho Surpass Sir Alex Ferguson At Man United?

Jose Mourinho has already managed to do something at Old Trafford that no other Manchester United manager has done previously, and that’s win a trophy in his debut season.

Yes, it’s true, not even Sir Alex Ferguson managed to taste success in his first season in charge of the Red Devils.

Well Jose has obviously had a great start and his side are still in the hunt to win two more trophies this term. You can find odds of 18/1 on United winning the FA Cup and the Europa League this season, not bad if you fancy beating the bookie!

But would you gamble on Jose beating Fergie’s record haul?

I don’t think I’d take that bet.

Modern-day football has changed so much. Most football managers aren’t afforded the time that was given to Fergie back in the eighties.

When Ferguson arrived in Manchester in late 1986, he didn’t have a strong squad. It took him over three years to win his first trophy and it wasn’t until 1993 that he managed to guide them to the first of his league title wins.

He obviously followed that up with another twelve Premier League triumphs, plus four more FA Cup wins, four League Cup final successes and two Champions League titles. But it took a lot of time to find that winning formula.

Today the board and the United fans demand trophies now! They don’t spend around £89m on Paul Pogba to see their club fail to win any silverware.

Mourinho probably won’t be given six and a half years to build a squad capable to challenge and win England’s top flight.

Everyone at Old Trafford will expect Champions League football next season and will demand that the team challenges for the Premier League title next term too.

So, this season will be deemed as a failure if United don’t win the Europa League or finish in the top four. They need to do one or the other. The fans would prefer it if they could do both.

To meet those demands and to maintain those high standards is tough. Mourinho will no doubt want to succeed at Man Utd and he’ll hope to win one of the main prizes while he’s there, those being to win the Premier League and/or the Champions League.

But the Portuguese boss will need to stay in the job for at least ten years to get anywhere near Fergie’s trophy haul and within those years he’ll need to continually win trophies.

Just a glance at Jose’s illustrious CV will tell you that he’s a winner but a closer inspection will also tell you that he isn’t a manager that hangs around in one place for too long.

He doesn’t make it past three years at a club.

At Inter Milan and at Porto he left a hero, knowing he couldn’t take those sides any further.

During his two stints at Chelsea and at Real Madrid, he would struggle in his third year in charge. He’d fall out with players and he’d fall out with the club’s decision makers.

It’s almost as if paranoia creeps in with Jose and he can’t seem to trust those around him and things start to crumble.

To be as successful as Sir Alex Ferguson was at one club, you need to get through the tough times and be determined to succeed. You also need to know when to pick your battles.

Ferguson famously fell out with his captain Roy Keane in 2005 and the Scots manager decided to release the midfielder. That would have been unthinkable five years earlier, as Keane was a huge player for the club and a big reason for their success in the late nineties and early in the noughties.

But Ferguson spotted that Keane’s powers on the football field had started to fade and he was now a disruptive force inside the United dressing room, so he dumped him.

Could Jose do that? Or would he have tried it at the wrong time?

It’s one part of Jose’s CV that remains unanswered. At United he has to prove his critics wrong and stay beyond that dreaded third year and keep on delivering success.

I honestly think Jose Mourinho is enjoying his time in charge of Manchester United. I think he likes the size of the football club and the tradition that comes with his job. I also think he’s excited by the challenge of getting them back on track after the hangover following on from Ferguson’s exit.

I can also see him getting past that third season and maybe being the United boss for five years or so.

But can he surpass what Sir Alex Ferguson achieved with the Red Devils? Can he stay at Old Trafford beyond ten years, never mind twenty-five?

Nope. I just can’t see many, if any, managers staying at a top-class football club for that amount of time or being as successful as Fergie was at Manchester United.

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