Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Jose Mourinho Meets The Press.

It was a calm, confident and assured new Manchester United manager who sat in front of the world's press at Old Trafford.

After almost half an hour Jose Mourinho had laid out his plans for his revolution at Old Trafford in a manner that suggested he was relishing the tough task ahead.

However, it wasn't what he said, but more what he implied during his first question and answer session as the new man in charge of resurrecting the Red Devils.

Mourinho was careful enough not to mention anybody by name but everyone knew who he was talking about. He started by confirming that he wasn't a manager who hid behind philosophies, a dig at his predecessor Louis van Gaal. He then took aim at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger when he reminded everybody that some managers had not won the league for ten years whereas he had achieved it one year ago.

Next, it was his old adversary Pep Guardiola's turn down the road at Man City when Mourinho stated that he had twenty rivals not just one. He also brought age into the mix when he claimed that at 53 he was more motivated than older managers at the end of their careers which could have been a reference to van Gaal, Wenger and any manager over 60.

Mourinho then proceeded to tackle the Wayne Rooney dilemma by confirming exactly what many United fans have been saying for the last three years and that is the captain is not a midfielder but a striker who the new manager will utilise as a number 9, 10 or even a 9.5 but never 50 metres away from goal where his scoring talent is wasted. Music to the ears indeed.

He addressed the elephant in the room in an honest manner and that was the departure of Ryan Giggs after almost 30 years by admitting that the Welsh legend would only have stayed on as manager but the board had decided to appoint a manager with experience over sentimentality.

When asked about his transfer plans Mourinho confirmed that he had four players targeted to fill in what he called specialised positions but didn't confirm any departures. However, he was very clear on his stance that players should not play out of position. Another shot across the bow of van Gaal's baffling tactics.

Even though Mourinho had a serious look about him the session did have humour built into it, especially when he had to ask his press assistant if the club had finalised the deal with a third player to which she replied 'No, not yet'. He followed that up by replying to a question about whether or not he had received any advice from Alex Ferguson and that the Scot had told him to bring an umbrella and his usual good taste in wine.

The only time that he seemed to become slightly riled was when one journalist questioned him about his past record on promoting academy players. True to his style Mourinho had come prepared with a list of 49 players he had brought up through the ranks at his previous clubs. End of debate.

Overall, it was a Mourinho who seemed to be very much at home in his new surroundings as he said all the right things that will certainly go down well with the Old Trafford faithful. Sure, he will face tougher press conferences as the season unfolds, but at this one, he was in full control of the proceedings.

He appears to have grasped the enormity of the job in hand and the early signs in the transfer market show that he understands exactly who and what is needed to inject a sense of urgency and aggression into a side drained of confidence over the last three seasons.

Only time will tell if the special one is indeed the right one to bring success back to United but all the signs point to a successful partnership between manager and club. Confidence breeds success and Mourinho is not short of that characteristic.

Finally, In Mourinho's own words 'Giant clubs must be for the best managers.'

Thanks for reading.

Miles Dunton.