So Manchester United have officially announced Jose Mourinho as their next permanent manager as the Portuguese signs a three-year deal at Old Trafford.
Louis van Gaal lost his job at United despite winning the FA Cup, and focus now turns to an era under Mourinho.
The question that immediately follows this announcement is the following: are long-term managers the thing of the past?
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The reason we must ask this question is because looking at the best managers in world football today, they tend to move from club to club rather than cement a legacy, much like Sir Alex Ferguson did at United, or like Arsene Wenger is doing at Arsenal.
Mourinho’s track record is impressive, that’s undeniable. He’s won major honours in Portugal, Italy, Spain and of course, England. He has league titles in the four countries he’s managed in, cups and trophies that would fill any cabinet twice over, and he’s won the respect of football fans worldwide.
He’s had the privilege of working with some of the greats in his already interesting career, including the late Sir Bobby Robson.
In short, it reads well for the Manchester United fans who have been disappointed in the last three seasons under the guidance of David Moyes and then Van Gaal.
Even if Mourinho is successful at United, there is no guarantee that he is going to stay at Old Trafford.
Given Mourinho’s track record, he only stays at a club on average for three seasons. Once a new project comes on the horizon, it seems that he is ready to move on. In a way, he is like the Cristiano Ronaldo of the manager world – in it for himself.
In fairness to him, football is a cut throat business so you really do have to look after number one and sometimes jump before you are pushed.
Mourinho’s success in 2014/15 looked like the beginning of a long era. Leicester City put a stop to that, as did Mourinho’s poor string of results that led to his dismissal from Chelsea in December 2015.
Although the results were bad, Chelsea as a club were not prepared to let him finish off the season and re-build for a new campaign. It was a case of straight out the door and forgetting about his status amongst the Chelsea faithful as ‘The Special One.’
Louis van Gaal has proved this season an FA Cup cannot save you, as it has done arguably for Arsene Wenger in the previous two seasons.
Pellegrini has won two League Cups and Premier League title in his time with Manchester City, but again, it couldn’t stop him from being replaced by a supposed better candidate in Pep Guardiola.
It just goes to prove that even if you win a trophy, it can’t guarantee you a job.
The problem is that Mourinho will probably leave after a reasonably short spell of success because in today’s game, he may not get the chance to have short term success and then a period of little-to-no success.
Roman Abramovich has proved this countless times, with Mourinho being a casualty twice at Chelsea.
The fact is that long term managers cannot be produced anymore because football is so unpredictable. United have now joined in the ‘managers recycling’ club, just as the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Southampton, Newcastle United, well, you get the picture.
From the 20 Premier League sides in this season, all have had new managers in the last four years, except one – Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger is the longest reigning Premier League manager at the moment, with over 20 years experience. That sounds OK when compared with Sir Alex Ferguson record of 27 years service, but it also sounds frightening when comparing against Mark Hughes, who has spent three years at Stoke City and is now the second longest serving Premier League manager.
It’s difficult to see how any manager can sustain his position in the Premier League like Sir Alex Ferguson once did. That age has now passed. Arsene Wenger is the last of the dying breed and once he has gone, fans can only look forward to a four year or less type manager system, regardless of success.
Is it harder these days to build a legacy at a club like Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United? Leave us YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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