As we all know by now, Jose Mourinho is the new Manchester United manager, replacing FA Cup winner Louis Van Gaal. Although we knew it was coming, now that it’s confirmed we can now begin to speculate about what a Mourinho-managed Man United side looks like, and ask a few questions about what the Portuguese might do before his first campaign in charge
- What to do with Wayne Rooney?
It was widely reported three years ago that Mourinho was keen to take the England and United campaigner to Stamford Bridge, and although the move never materialised, it was common knowledge that the manager rates Rooney very highly.
Three years on and Rooney’s influence has waned somewhat. He’s gone from centre forward to number ten to midfield, with no clear fixed position in the United starting line up. Deciding what to do with Wayne Rooney will be one of Mourinho’s key decisions. On the face of it, you’d imagine he’ll play him in midfield, but past knowledge suggests that he’s not really a Mourinho-type midfielder.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 22, 2016
- Who to play up top?
All the great Mourinho sides have had a big, bruising centre forward in the striker position, but a cursory glance at the United squad suggests that there is no player of that ilk currently at the club. Will the manager spend big to bring a burly striker in? And if so, who?
- Will he give the youth a chance?
One of the saving graces of Louis van Gaal’s reign has been the fact that the Dutchman has brought a number of younger players through, including Marcus Rashford. However, Mourinho has never been keen on playing young players, preferring to rely on experience, and it’ll be very interesting to see whether the Portuguese continues LVG’s excellent work in this regard or throw it all out, bringing in his own players.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 22, 2016
- What sort of football will he play – and will the fans accept it?
In addition to being accustomed to winning football matches, United fans have also been used to their side playing quick transitioning, attacking football – the antithesis of Mourinho’s traditional gameplan. The Portuguese is pigheaded enough not to care what the fans think, but if he wants to stay at Old Trafford for any length of time, he’ll want to keep them onside.
- Will he behave?
It has been widely reported that senior figures within the United hierarchy were not too keen on Mourinho’s appointment on the basis that he has caused trouble wherever he’s been; but the need to win trophies has clearly outweighed any misgivings. Given the manager’s propensity for attracting controversy, however, will he be able to keep his nose clean at the biggest club in the world? You probably wouldn’t put a bet on it.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 22, 2016