Jose Mourinho is usually a man who finds himself on the offensive with the media, but there was something a little bit Rafa-Benitez-and-his-facts about the new Manchester United manager’s first press conference in the job.
Mourinho produced a dossier of youth players that he has blooded during his time as a coach in a bid to disprove the ‘myth’ about him being a manager simply for the now, suggesting that even the ‘Special One’ himself feels that he may have something to prove in this area.
But why? Mourinho is the most decorated manager of his generation. He’s got nothing to prove to anyone, least of all himself. Why should he actually care if he’s bringing players through the youth system?
Everyone knows what Mourinho delivers by now. He brings trophies, but he also brings disharmony. Manchester United have chosen to accept the chaos that comes with Mourinho because they desperately crave a return to the bling-laden Ferguson era.
Mourinho didn’t bring so much silverware to Stamford Bridge by blooding Steven Watt and Lenny Pidgeley. He did it by being ruthless and assembling an expensive but high class squad of footballers.
@thehuwdavies Is he including Port Vale’s Anthony Grant, former Leatherhead keeper Lenny Pidgeley or Hasting Utd’s Steven Watt on that list?
— Spiel des Einwürfs (@GameofThrowIns) July 5, 2016
This is not a route that United have been down before and, in the long run, it may well harm them – but they rang Mourinho’s number. They sent up the Mourinho bat-signal. There is no reason for Mourinho to change his ways because one club have had a youth player in every squad since 1937.
The early arrivals of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are proof that Mourinho doesn’t actually intend to change his ways. They will push academy products Paddy McNair, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard back to the fringes of the squad – but they will also enhance the chances of a major trophy coming to Old Trafford next season.
Wasn’t long ago we had Moyes and Welbeck to rely on for trophies now it’s Zlatan and Jose what a time to be alive ??????
— Shane Cassidy (@Cassidy_9) July 5, 2016
As long as he has recovered from the trials at Chelsea last season, Mourinho will deliver what United want. It may change them as a club and they may never quite be the same again – but it’s the path that they have chosen. They must live with it, not try and change the unchangeable.