Mourinho wants United to spend but does he want to work the miracle?
Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to plunder the vaults again but does he really want to work the miracle at Old Trafford?
- Jose Mourinho’s hints to the Manchester United hierarchy to spend grow louder
- Defeat by Juventus was followed by Doomsday verdict that they can’t compete
- Other factors have played a part, such as Mourinho’s frosty relationships
- He says his heart and soul are at Old Trafford but is he just working his ticket?
It is calculated that Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez will have cost Manchester United over £300million if they play out their contracts.
According to Jose Mourinho that eye-watering investment – plus a quorum of less notable failures such as defender Eric Bailly for what amounts to spare change in the modern transfer market at £30m – is nothing like enough.
The hints to the Old Trafford hierarchy to plunder the vaults grow heavier with every disappointment.
Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to spend again and has repeatedly dropped hints
Alexis Sanchez is on a huge wage and United have already spent a large amount of money
This week’s home defeat by Juventus was followed by the manager’s Doomsday prediction that United can no longer hope to compete with the leading Champions League contenders.
Not unless they buy even bigger.
Is that a special excuse or does he make a valid point?
Depends where you look for the comparison and how deeply.
The Italian champions have gone for broke with the £100million signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Previously, however, they built the platform for the Old Lady’s resurrection quite conservatively and they still lag behind United in total outlay.
Mourinho raved about the ‘amazing’ Juventus centre-back pairing. Yet Giorgio Chiellini cost £4m – admittedly in 2005 – and Leonardo Bonucci was bought back from AC Milan for about the same price as the hapless Bailly… this summer.
Sometimes it’s not how much, but for what? Sometimes it’s a matter of never mind the quality, count the number of noughts on the end of the cheque.
Mouirnho said his heart and soul are with United and that he is not thinking about Real Madrid
Look closer to home, though, and Mourinho has been out-spent overall by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
However wisely or otherwise each has invested, that accounts at least in some measure for City defending the Premier League title as front runners this season.
Although whether it fully explains the current gulf between first place and United’s 10th is a wide stretch.
Other factors have played into United’s slump and Mourinho’s fall-outs with a number of stars – Pogba and Sanchez among them – has not helped.
Other managers have been booted out of Old Trafford for doing better.
Dave Sexton, for one, was sacked after coming second the year before. But deep thinker though he was, Sexton did not have as a shield the multiple silverware which attests to Mourinho’s talents.
That trophy-laden pedigree is doing much to keep Mourinho in office. A darker question is how much he really wants to stay there?
Oh no, he says, he is not even thinking of going back to rescue ailing Real Madrid.
Does that sound like a job application? Oh no, he says, his heart and soul are in United.
Yet his track record insists that as an impact manager he is at his most special in his first three years, which is as long as he has stayed anywhere. At United, that time will be up next year. And that is a long time to be living in a hotel, no matter how luxurious.
Does he really want to work the miracle at Old Trafford? Or is he working his ticket?
If the answer is the latter, shouldn’t he be trying even harder to over-turn the apple-cart?
Other managers have been booted out of Old Trafford for doing better than Mourinho
Kevin De Bruyne is not happy about continuing his comeback against Tottenham on Monday night on a Wembley Stadium pitch which he fears will be roughed up by Sunday’s American Football game between Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Lucky for him he was not imported by Manchester City back in the days when even such First Division temples as the old Maine Road staged many mid-winter games on quagmires.
De Bruyne is regarded as an exceptional player, not only by me, but history teaches us that exceptional talents play exceptional football no matter how bog-deep the conditions. Which will never be true of Wembley.
A glance at some photographs in the archives might be timely, Master Kevin.
Kevin de Bruyne is concerned about the state of the Wembley pitch on Monday
Lewis Hamilton is driving brilliantly as he closes in on his fifth world drivers’ championship.
Hence he feels at ease springing to the defence of Sebastian Vettel as his arch-rival comes under increasing fire for his crash-bang squandering of the Ferrari challenge.
That suggests: 1) Lewis the Lad is maturing off as well as on the track; 2) Herr Vettel is no Michael Schumacher.
Lewis Hamilton has been sensational and is closing in on his fifth world championship
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