And so, after less than a year in charge of Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has won his first trophy.
The Red Devils secured the League Cup with an 87th-minute goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, beating Southampton 3-2, and setting their own record: Jose Mourinho is the first Manchester United manager to win a trophy in his first season.
“Winning is always special.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 26, 2017
Methinks it won’t be the last.
The Portuguese manager has definitely been on a journey since he replaced Louis van Gaal last summer.
After a couple of good performances, United went through something of a sticky patch; sticky enough for some to question whether or not Mourinho was the right man to lead them forward.
I’m not one to say I hate to say I told you so…but I was never worried.
Despite suggestions that Mourinho had ‘lost touch’, and that his system no longer works in the modern game, the last few months have seen steady improvement, and their progression in the Europa League, coupled with this League Cup win, will ensure that United keep their manager for another season at least.
Mourinho was the man United really wanted to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.
For whatever reason, that didn’t happen, and the club had to go through two managers who weren’t the right fit before they finally got their man.
But get their man they did, and now that they’ve won their first trophy, the sky really is the limit.
The Premier League looks totally beyond Mourinho and United now, but from the board’s perspective, the important thing is that the club are back to winning ways.
During his Premier League career, the League Cup has always been taken seriously by Mourinho, and the reason why is understandable – it fosters a winning culture, creates winners, and importantly creates the desire for more victories in the future.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 26, 2017
Manchester United are fabulously wealthy, and now that Mourinho has proven himself to still be relevant, it seems certain to me that he will be given a considerable budget to spend this summer.
If he can use this budget correctly to add to a squad already containing players like Henrikh Mhkitaryan, David De Gea and Imbrahimovic, United will certainly be a force to be reckoned with next season.
Mourinho may have been presumptuous in claiming to be chasing the league title this season, but with this momentum, it’ll definitely be on the cards next term.
Love him or loathe him, Mourinho is back with a bang.
Trophy No. 24 for Jose Mourinho. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/pgtKBatz62
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) February 26, 2017