A week ago, I wrote about how Laurent Blanc may not have been the man to take Paris Saint Germain forward in terms of the Champions League. Little did I realise how quickly PSG would act on this, and according to various reports, mainly Sky Sources, PSG have made contact with Jose Mourinho and his agent Jorge Mendes about potentially taking over in the French capital next season. I must stress, there has not been any official word from either party at the time of writing, but when the news broke the footballing world seemed to meltdown at the prospect of Manchester United yet again missing out on a major target. So I took it upon myself to think about the two clubs and thought where Jose would be the better fit.
With Manchester United, he would have one of the biggest clubs in world football, with an unlimited transfer kitty to sign practically any footballer in the world. The name of the club alone would be enough to entice players to Old Trafford, let alone the manager. Mourinho would prowl the touchline with authority, under the famous Sir Alex Ferguson stand, but could the man who’s name is plastered around Old Trafford be an issue?
As David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal have found out in recent years, Sir Alex Ferguson still attends Manchester United home games and still has a major say in what happens at the club. So could someone who has a track record of being under the scrutiny of the media, and being hated by many football fans? It’s possible that Sir Alex could suggest that Louis Van Gaal stays on for the final year of his contract, and wait until Ryan Giggs has enough experience to take over the year after.
Of course, Van Gaal staying on would probably depend on the Dutchman winning the FA Cup, but if he did, surely he would stay on? His work with some of the younger players has been one of the positives in his reign, and if he can sign players who we really want’s (unlike Angel Di Maria), we may actually see a better Manchester United.
Could Jose work with the youth of Manchester United? His track record suggests that he wouldn’t play them at all, favouring big money signings over them, so maybe that is where United may be undecided on. They could want an influx of youth to grab the fans’ imagination, and recreate a spirit around the club that hasn’t been there for a number of years.
At Paris Saint Germain, Mourinho wouldn’t have the pressure of fielding youth. He could buy top class players and do what he pleases with them, as the PSG board wants European success. The lack of European success has been the downfall of Laurent Blanc at the Parc des Princes. Yes, four Ligue 1 titles in a row is an amazing statistic, but they haven’t gotten past the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League under the former United man. Last season, losing to Barcelona isn’t a sackable offensive because of how good they were, but it was this season that cost them.
Blanc tried to do what Mourinho has done time and time again, and that was trick Manchester City by playing a 3-5-2 formation, but there were a few problems with that. PSG had never played in that formation, nor trained in 3-5-2. The players didn’t have a clue how to defend, and the performance told that story. The PSG board were fuming at how bad their team was, and immediately tried to find someone to replace Blanc, and thought of Mourinho.
Jose would still have incredible pulling power at PSG, as well as an unlimited amount of money, and a lot of similarities to Manchester United. If Mourinho could deliver the Champions League for a third different club, making managerial history. That would be a huge factor, especially if the Red Devils missed out on Champions League football once again.
At Manchester United, Mourinho would be compared to Sir Alex Ferguson, and judged by the man himself who still watches with an eagle eye in the stands. At Paris Saint Germain, he would be the main man. He would set himself apart from the rest, but only if he delivered Champions League success. A historic achievement, that would surely tickle the fancy of one of the game’s greatest managers.