Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement just over two years ago stunned the footballing world as many struggled to believe the man who’d been synonymous with making United the biggest name on the planet could actually be ready to walk away after nearly three decades at the helm.
Ask almost any United fan who the ideal replacement- or should that be ‘natural successor’- to Sir Alex should be and the vast majority would’ve named the man who often outwitted Ferguson or at the very least gave him a run for his money. Jose Mourinho may not be ‘popular’ with Reds in the strictest sense of the word, following his running down the touchline shenanigans with Porto and his subsequent successes with Chelsea but he was a choice that at least seemed likely to bring trophies.
One of the hardest parts of being a United fan in the days just after David Moyes’ appointment was trying to convince ourselves that a manager who hadn’t won a trophy in over a decade was a better option than one who’d won two Champions Leagues, several titles, cups and even a treble in the same amount of time.
Moyes obviously wasn’t the answer- and now Louis Van Gaal seems a much more suited replacement to the hapless Scot, while Ryan Giggs is the natural heir to the Old Trafford dugout but there’s a chance that there could be a place for Mourinho somewhere in between.
At first the idea that Mourinho would leave Chelsea for United may seem ludicrous, but all may not be well between the former Special One and Roman Abramovich. The Chelsea boss would happily throw Arsene Wenger a brick if the Arsenal manager was drowning, so being forced to sell him Petr Cech by Abramovich isn’t going to sit well with Jose.
Abramovich reportedly overruled Mourinho when it came to the Cech transfer and we all know what happens when Jose feels undermined at Chelsea- he walks away. There’s no doubt that Mourinho feels he’s the natural successor to Sir Alex and was reportedly fuming not to be offered the job in 2013, if things did go sour at Chelsea, then there’s every chance he’d still like a crack at the one true big job in English football.
Ryan Giggs may seem like an obstacle as he’s lined up to succeed Van Gaal, but if Mourinho came in after the Dutchman for a few years with the United legend working under him, just imaging the experience the former winger would have when he finally took over.
Playing for twenty years under the greatest manager of all time, then three years apiece under two modern greats, Giggs would have the kind of schooling a coach could only dream of and end be ready to enjoy the sort of career Sir Alex had at Old Trafford.
Pie in the sky or a reasonable possibility? There could be post LVG pre Giggs place for Mourinho at United and who knows what fireworks- and trophies- that could bring.