Tag Archives: mourinho

A new era at United

In the first ever ‘DevilCast’ by The United Stand, hosted by The Drawty devil, panelists Kevin Ashford & Paul Gardiner discuss the arrival of Mourinho + the possible fate of many of United’s players. This episode includes special guest, Shane Higgs.

Benzema to partner Ibrahimovic

Imagine that for a moment. Karim Benzema and Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing up-front for Manchester United. Well if reports in the Independent are to be believed. It could happen.

It is understood that Jose Mourinho has identified Karim Benzema as a priority target while Paris Saint-Germain striker Ibrahimovic is close to agreeing a deal to move to Old Trafford to be reunited with old boss, Mourinho. The two became close during their time at Inter Milan.

With current Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney, now preferring a midfield role, Mourinho will be looking for two fowards to revitalise United’s attacking threat with the Real Madrid forward being preferred to Borussia Drtmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Despite Benzema previously accusing Mourinho of being over-critical of him during their time together at Madrid, the 28-year-old has admitted that the criticism made him a better player.

“Mourinho criticised me. But it was his way of making me react. At the start, it hurt me, but I am used to it now.”

Karim Benzema bagged 79 goals in 150 appearances under Mourinho and was considered a key figure by the manager during his time at the Bernabeu.

Despite Jose’s interest in Benzema, United officials are aware of the problems they may face in signing the player as he is currently in talks with Madrid over a new contract and faces a potential court case after being charged for conspiracy to blackmail. Not to mention his resistance of the Premier League in past seasons.

If you are unsure about Karim Benzema, watch him in action below:

Busting the myth that Jose Mourinho doesn’t trust youth

Since the rumours of Jose Mourinho taking over the hot seat at Old Trafford gathered pace in December, several myths have been circling regarding his management style.

The strongest myth being that he does not play or trust youth players. But is this really true? No. It’s not. Let’s take a look at clubs he has managed and the young players that he handed first team opportunities to:

  1. Porto (2002-2004)
  2. Jose Mourinho’s time at Porto saw the emergence of players such as Deco, Maniche and Ricardo Carvalho. These players became Portugal internationals while Mourinho was at the helm. While none of the above mentioned players were at the beginning of their careers, the same cannot be said for then 19-year-old Carlos Alberto, who scored the opening goal of the 2004 Champions League final victory. Alberto became the youngest scorer in a European cup final.

  3. Chelsea (2004-2007)
  4. In a side with Claude Makelele being the only player over 30, Mourinho also placed faith in younger players including Petr Cech (22), John Terry (23) and Arjen Robben (20). All these players were in the early stages of their careers. Youngsters Glen Johnson and Robert Huth also played enough games to pick up winners medals before they turned 21. Other players getting a shot at first team football were Steven Watt, Jimmy Smith, Michael Woods, Anthony Grant, Ben Sahar and Sam Hutchinson.

  5. Inter Milan (2008-2010)
  6. Inter Milan’s sides under Mourinho were packed with experienced players, but teenager Mario Balotelli made over 70 appearances while 18-year-old Davide Santon was handed an opportunity playing in defence against Manchester United in the Champions League.

  7. Real Madrid (2010-2013)
  8. During his three-year spell in charge of Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho handed debuts to 20 (yes, twenty) different academy players. These included the likes of Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez. Raphael Varane, a purchase from French side Lens, was also a young player Mourinho put his faith in.

  9. Chelsea 2013-2015)
  10. In the first season of Jose’s second stint at Chelsea, he awarded Dominic Solanke with a professional debut aged just 17 in a Champions League match while Ruben Loftus-Cheek made three appearances. Other players to receive professional debuts under Mourinho were: Lewis Baker, John Swift and Andreas Christensen.

So, the proof is there and the myth is busted. Jose Mourinho has no qualms in putting his faith in youth. Sure, most of them may have only had a few minutes here and there and nothing more. But, there are some big names up there who played big parts and are household names today.

It just goes to show that if Mourinho believes that a young player has what it takes, he will give them the opportunity.

We must remember, promoting youth doesn’t necessarily mean handing a debut to every single player that comes through the youth academy. That’s not what it’s about.

Source: Sky Sports

Do you think Jose Mourinho will give youth a chance at United?

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Mourinho’s Man Utd Shopping List

Jose Mourinho looks set to be appointed the new manager of Manchester United this week after it has all but been confirmed that Louis Van Gaal will leave the club after meeting with the Old Trafford hierarchy.

Mourinho has wasted little time in identifying possible transfer targets he believes will restore United to the top of English football once again with the Portuguese manager to be handed a reported £200m war chest.
United are determined to get their transfer business completed early this summer and Mourinho has identified key areas within United’s squad that he believes need strengthening. United will also look to offload several players in another major summer shake up at Old Trafford.

Jose is reportedly interested in Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, Everton’s John Stones, Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but is also known to be tracking the situation of Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane and Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario.

Along with these new names Mourinho is also confident he can lure Zlatan Ibrahimovic to United after previously working with him at Inter Milan and hopes a 1 year contract can be completed after the strikers contract expired with PSG.

Jose Mourinho’s arrival also looks like the end of several current United players time at the club. Mourinho will almost certainly look to offload Juan Mata just as he did at Chelsea with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones set to leave over concerns of the pairs ability to stay fit.

Let us know who you think United should sign this summer and who should leave.

Source: The Mirror Football.

Jose Mourinho to Manchester United latest

Will Jose Mourinho become Manchester United manager this summer? Some fans are certain that whether Van Gaal scrapes 4th place or not Mourinho will be taking the Old Trafford reigns this June and United will begin the resurrection to greatness we all crave.

The confidence of these fans is to be admired – although I suspect they’re staking their reputation on a 50/50 outcome and hoping for the best – because simple business sense suggests Van Gaal will be sat on his rear end for another 38 games next season.

Why? Because the numbers are stacked firmly in his favour and ridicule the notion that a deal has already been agreed with Mourinho. No agreement will be made until United’s top 4 status is determined.

And it’s that top 4 position that will decide whether we become the next Liverpool and fall in to oblivion over the next few years, or we get back on the top table where we belong. The worst case scenario for Woodward and Van Gaal, not necessarily the fans, is a failure to secure 4th place. The loss in gate receipts, prize money and commercial deals would see a revenue drop of at least 30 million pounds. In addition to that Woodward would also be forced to release his friend Van Gaal to save his own skin, who with a year left on his contract would cost a further 3-5 million if reports on his contract are to be believed.

35 million pounds down and with no Champions League football it’s only at this juncture we’d expect Woodward to go cap in hand to Mourinho. Whether Jose would relish the opportunity of taking over a club absent from the world’s top football competition that will struggle to attract the world’s best players is another matter. However, the offer of a 10 million pounds a year contract over three years and a 150 million pounds transfer fund should persuade him. And we the fans would get the appointment many of us crave.

But what if Van Gaal does manage to salvage 4th place? Suddenly Ed Woodward’s wallet isn’t feeling so light. No 30 million loss for missing out on the Champions league, no need to pay 5 million to fire his great friend Louis, and no need to spend 10 million a year on the fans choice Mourinho. 4th place from Van Gaal saves Woodward at least 45 million straight away. So why at that point would a shrewd businessmen like Woodward and the Glazer’s decide to sack the man who’s just saved them so much money for a man who will demand they spend a whole lot more? Not forgetting Van Gaal will have also delivered them a nice end of season trophy in the FA Cup.

The short answer is they won’t. Jose Mourinho may be the overwhelming fans choice and 30 years ago that may have counted for something but today football is 100% about money. And that money talks a lot louder than you or me. The harsh truth is Mourinho is highly unlikely to become Manchester United manager if Van Gaal secures Champions league football.

Which leaves the true victims in all of this, you the fans, suffering again. Do you choose Champions league football and another season of Van Gaal, or do you sacrifice it and hope the club are forced to sign Mourinho?

Personally, I go for the latter option. Short term pain for long term gain.

Just beware the so called “In The Know’s” spouting the dream of Top 4, an FA Cup and Mourinho coming in June. It’s not happening.

By Mark Goldbridge

Would you sacrifice top 4 to get rid of Van Gaal?

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Mourinho to be given £250m budget with £50m to go on one player

Since Jose Mourinho departed Chelsea in December last year he has been heavily linked to take the United hot seat in the summer and now reports in the Daily Express suggest that he will be given a whopping £250m to spend in order to get United back to their best.

In the same report it is also suggested that should Mourinho become the next United manager, he will be looking to part with £50m of that budget on Benfica starlet Renato Sanches.

Benfica, however, would demand around £47m for the wonderkid’s signature with at least £30m paid up front.

It’s no secret that United have been scouting Sanches in recent months as it has been reported several times in the media.

It is also claimed that United’s scouts were present to see Sanches come off the bench to help Portugal beat Belgium 2-1 on Tuesday night.

LVG: Mourinho links ‘an absolute scandal’

Under fire United boss, Louis van Gaal, has blasted reports of Mourinho taking over in the summer as ‘an absolute scandal’.

Pressure has eased slightly on the Dutchman since securing a place in the FA Cup Quarter Final after beating Shrewsbury Town and progressing to the last 16 in the Europa League after beating Midtjylland 6-3 on aggregate.

Despite this, van Gaal is still the bookies favourite as the next Premier League manager to leave his job with Mourinho still a hot favourite to replace him.

The United manager had this to say to dutch TV channel RTL7:

Mourinho has said things a number of times with a lot of words, but he does not have to tell me anything. I find the whole thing ridiculous.

No, I don’t want United to do something either. I don’t even want them to react to things which I read in the media or which are being created.

We, the club and I, are not going to help the media right now by denying things.

I think what is happening is an absolute scandal.

Read the article in full on the Daily Mail website by clicking here.

GUEST BLOG: Mourinho and Rodriguez the right options for United

Some very interesting news about Jose Mourinho has recently broken out. Mourinho has told Real Madrid he is not interested in returning to the club, opening the door for him to take over at Manchester United, according to Spanish newspaper Diario Sportclaim.

In my opinion, Mourinho was the right option for united because he has the ability to get results and also gets the big name players into the club. However I feel Mourinho will obviously be tempted to take over at Real Madrid, despite the coming reports, as Madrid really have a well built squad.

As of now, three players have been spotted by manchester united: Goncalo Guedes, Felipe Anderson and James Rodriguez; James Rodriguez being our main target. I don’t think Madrid will let James go so easily as they are in a vulnerable position now and don’t look strong enough to win La Liga. However we do have a good chance of signing him if we use money and Ed Woodward, as usual, has a trick up his sleeve.

Goncalo Guedes in action for Benfica (Picture: foxsports.com)
Goncalo Guedes in action for Benfica (Picture: foxsports.com)

Reports are also coming in that Madrid are going to swoop in for David de Gea which makes it yet another summer transfer saga repeat. Felipe Anderson is gifted and has great technical ability and will be a great addition to our squad. Goncalo Guedes, dubbed ‘the new Ronaldo’, is also a talented young teen; on the contrary he is inconsistent.

This January transfer window is going to be very interesting and vital. Louis van Gaal will be desperate to keep the fans content and strengthen his squad with some talented players. Hoping for the best. As of now James Rodriguez would be a dream transfer and we should get a good left back.

By Anmol Suratkal

Mourinho: why “the special one” is the only one

With 2015 coming to an end, it would seem that the long awaited prophecy that Jose Mourinho would one day be appointed as Manchester United manager will be fulfilled. Ever since his Porto side won at Old Trafford knocking Manchester United out of Europe in 2004, the charismatic Portuguese has looked destined to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.

With the Red Devils struggling for form and identity under the rigid Louis Van Gaal, the personality and more importantly the track record in both England and abroad of the Special One may be exactly what Manchester United are crying out for.

With Jurgen Klopp now at Liverpool and Carlo Ancelotti going to Bayern Munich next summer the managerial merry-go-round at Europe’s leading powers has cleared up as we go into the Christmas period. Should Manchester United choose to sack Louis Van Gaal, their options are running out quickly. Why the move has not happened already is a mystery to many with the problems piling up at Manchester United like the presents under a Christmas tree – should you be so lucky.

It is true that Manchester United have the most clean sheets in the Premier League and that stat has been thrown out a lot in defence of LVG but ever since that faithful night in Wolfsburg the so called unbeatable defence has been beaten again and again. Sadly this sacrifice has not come with the award of more attacking football and goals for Manchester United fans to feast on. The feeling summed up by the fact that captain Wayne Rooney has averaged a mere 0.3 goals per game under the Dutchman. And to add insult to injury Manchester United’s brightest attacking spark this season, Anthony Martial, spent more time tracking Norwich left back Martin Olsson, than he did in the oppositions box, despite scoring a goal.

United manager Louis van Gaal's job is in danger (Source: The Guardian)
United manager Louis van Gaal’s job is in danger (Source: The Guardian)

For LVG, many of the problems have gone beyond the 90 minutes themselves and most noticeably involve team selections. From the constant switching of positions of players like Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Anthony Martial to leaving certain players out altogether, in particular Spanish speaking players, like Victor Valdes and Ander Herrera, very few would feel settled under the former Barcelona manager.

Players such as Angel Di Maria and Javier Hernandez who are now doing well at their respected clubs have made their negative feelings very clear towards Van Gaal. The other main concern many have with Van Gaal is the constant selection of Marouane Fellaini and in particular Wayne Rooney. Both have been consistently selected despite a string of poor performances in comparison to fan favourite Ander Herrera and Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin.

On the eve of Christmas and possibly Van Gaal’s most important game during his reign at Old Trafford, captain Wayne Rooney has come out in support of the manager saying “We are working hard, we are fighting with the manager to try and get the results and turn this season around.” It is clear that at least some parts of the dressing room are behind the manager. Ironically it was been widely reported that Jose Mourinho had lost the dressing room at Chelsea in recent months. So why is it a perfect fit?

Well it’s not. No manager that is still in the game can say that they, like Sir Alex, have won the Premier League, Champions League, plays attacking football and promotes youth. The one near exception being a certain, Arsene Wenger. But Jose does tick many of the boxes, most importantly a winning mentality. He has won league titles in Portugal, Spain, Italy and England. Unlike Van Gaal he has achieved this in recent years and not in the 90’s.

It has been said that Jose does not play attacking football. This is not entirely true. It is not the swash buckling football we have seen down the years at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ but it is a style based on power, pace and moving the ball up the pitch quickly. Sides like Leicester have shown this season that tika-taka, for all its worth, is not the only way of doing things in
the modern game. In fact in the season Real Madrid won La Liga under Mourinho, Real Madrid outscored Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side when they were arguably at their strongest.

Jose Mourinho celebrated winning the Premier League with Chelsea in 2015 (Source: Eurosport.com)
Jose Mourinho celebrated winning the Premier League with Chelsea in 2015 (Source: Eurosport.com)

When Mourinho is at a club that demands attacking football he can deliver. While his style at Chelsea has shown that with no pressure to play in a particular manner, he will play a defensive game, but his time at Madrid has shown that the ‘Special One’ will adapt his natural defensive philosophy. It goes without saying this is a far cry from the man he may potentially replace. Fans can only hope that Mourinho would also be willing to adapt to the idea of bringing through youth in the same way Van Gaal has. Fingers crossed the club will receive the rewards of Van Gaal giving players like McNair, Valera, Periera and many more chances in the first team. Whoever the manager may be next week, month and season.

Like Van Gaal (to a point) and Sir Alex before him, Mourinho would bring a personality to everything he does from shouting on the touch line to finding new ways of making other managers lives a misery. Mourinho is one of the villains of football but, maybe that is exactly what the red devils need to regain their fear factor. A game against Manchester United has become an opportunity that many feel they can take advantage of. As Thierry Henry recently said on Sky Sports, the big teams in England need to stand up for themselves and take control of the league. And for this, Mourinho is perfect.

If he could bring the mentality he had at his previous title winning sides to Manchester United from now to the end of the season it may actually be enough to win the league with nobody in the league currently showing any sort of consistency. The big question is will the board take that plunge?

By Diarmuid Gillingham
Follow me on Twitter: @Diarmuid_MUFC