As Chelsea face Manchester United on Monday, their newly appointed manager Jose Mourinho will visit the Old Trafford, a place where he could have ended up coaching this season. The rumour mills were ripe with suggestions mentioning Jose’s chances of taking over the red half of the Manchester after Sir Alex’s retirement at the end of the last season. But then ultimately the self professed “Special One” went on to return to his old home, while United ranks opted for David Moyes.
Monday night, although a very early stage, will certainly prove a point as to whether the United management have done the right thing by appointing David Moyes before Mourinho, or will it be a decision they would repent for years to come. The versions provided by the United and Chelsea camp are certainly different.
While Chelsea boasts of the claim that Mourinho was never interested to manage United and had set his sights on the London club from the very beginning, United do not necessarily agree on this. United put it this way that Jose was never in contention of the job which Sir Alex had done with utmost brilliance for the last 26 years and that Moyes was their go to after the senior Scot hung up his boots.
Sir Bobby Charlton was precise when he made this particular statement that
“A United manager would not do that. He’s a really good coach but that’s as far as I would go really.” He was referring to Mourinho’s spat with Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, an incident which must have shaken the trust of the United faithful on Mourinho.
Quoted by Telegraph,
They [Manchester United] insist he [Jose Mourinho] was simply never in contention; in that respect, Sir Bobby Charlton’s words, delivered in an interview published last December, are revealing. Rightly or wrongly, United simply did not regard Mourinho as their kind of manager. They do not see him as someone with the top-to-bottom approach embraced by Ferguson and Moyes and they were nervous about his capacity to pick a fight.
Mourinho would bridle at the suggestion he is little more than a confrontationalist, especially as he has spoken about taking a paternalistic, dynastic approach to his second spell at Chelsea. However, United did not want change and Mourinho does not work without change.
United also do not like the way that so many of Mourinho’s battles have been played out in public. He would not have been overwhelmed by the scale of the task; rather he would have attempted to overwhelm it.
Mourinho’s exhibitionism is not something that United would like to associate themselves with. While Mourinho believes in public display of emotions, United try to distance themselves as much as they can from these.
The other thing that must have bothered the United ranks is Mourinho’s lack of commitment. They say rolling stones gather no moss and Mourinho fully supports this. United, on the other hand, are much more believers in loyalty and Moyes’s dedication to Everton for eleven long years must have been one of the key factors in his appointment.
Maybe we will never know what went on behind the scene and who snubbed whom, but Monday night will be an affair when both the parties would want to prove something to other.