The Frustrated One

It has been a difficult few years for Manchester United. Since Sir Alex retired in 2013, three managers with amazing CV’s have taken the job, but not met the expectations of fans or the board.

It was never going to be easy after Fergie had built his legacy, building a club that expected nothing less than success. The pressure was on from day one for Moyes, Van Gaal and Mourinho, and Jose is the latest manager to leave the club before his contract ended.

It’s a familiar story for Mourinho. Last season was by all accounts a good one, it was just that their Manchester rivals reached new levels to cast a shadow over the Red Devils. But now the three season curse has struck again. Only once has Mourinho made it into a fourth campaign with one club, during his first spell at Chelsea, where he ended up leaving at Christmas.

It might be a case that Mourinho’s style is built for short-term success. The hardest thing for Mourinho is balance. When you see how great he was at Porto, Chelsea and Inter – he had the right players to fit his style. He had a great goalscoring striker, an attacking midfielder like a number 10 and two wingers with pace and the ability to finish well. He could sit back and play on the counter-attack, but as soon as one wing stops being effective his team is so much easier to stop. That’s when the problems start.

If you look at his second spell at Chelsea and now at Man Utd, did he have those fast wingers on both sides who would regularly make the scoresheet, like Robben and Duff at Chelsea, or a great number 10 who would make all the difference when the team needed it?

When you don’t get the results problems start to emerge in the group. Mourinho is a coach that sees everything and when he calls his players up on it when they are winning, they listen, but when you are losing and things are going against you, it can be difficult to change things quickly and Mourinho ends up being a coach of a team he can no longer get the best out of.

The players stop doing the extra things you expect when things are going bad, and then you can fall into a frustrating cycle of not being able to motivate them like you would love to. I would’ve liked to have seen Mourinho do well, but whoever takes the long-term job needs to be ready to weather the storm because United is built on success, and the Great Sir Alex is the person who they will be measured against. #mmlove