The strangest things don’t always happen in the strangest of places, and change is the only constant thing in life, it is said.
It is because of that that Jose Mourinho is only days – or maybe even hours – away from being announced as the Manchester United manager.
It definitely won’t be the strangest thing to ever happen, but when you consider Mourinho’s abrasive, confrontational and controversial style, it does seem strange he is set to join a club that is known for its stability, organization and lack of controversy.
At the same time, United badly need someone with swagger and charisma, close to what they had with Sir Alex Ferguson. Someone who almost guarantees them trophies and the feared team they once were, not the pushovers they seem to have become. It seems like a marriage made in heaven when you consider these.
For Mourinho, it is not a problem. It is a job he has craved so much and legend has it that he was ‘greatly disappointed’ when United named David Moyes as Ferguson’s successor. He had always admired Ferguson and dreamt of filling his shoes someday, and his reaction to knocking them out in the 2004 Champions League with Porto said a lot. So, it won’t be a strange occurrence for him.
But the same cannot be said for the Chelsea fans. They are used to seeing the Portuguese work for the club in the Premier League and it was fathomable when he coached Inter Milan and Real Madrid, but it can’t be the same with Manchester United.
After all, they are rivals with United and having someone who is permanently embedded in their history turn out for a rival will surely be a bitter pill to swallow.
They would probably be wishing Roman Abramovic had just been a little bit more patient rather than sacking him for the second time last December.
But it’s hard to argue that the Russian billionaire made a mistake when you consider Chelsea’s horrible start to the season. Any other coach would have been fired sooner, but he lasted till December. That’s as much faith as Abramovic could have shown.
Would that turn out to be a decision they will regret? Well, only time will tell but one has to imagine the feeling at Stamford Bridge, if and when the ‘special one’ starts bringing in the trophies at Old Trafford.
But then, winning trophies are never guaranteed, especially when you are taking over a club that shares very different values to you.
Without being misunderstood, by no means am I saying Mourinho won’t win titles, but you have to consider the contrasting styles of both club and manager.
United pride themselves on being an organized, zero-controversy club that likes to give their academy graduates a chance in the first team.
Mourinho on the other hand, thrives on chaos, controversy, and prefers to build with established players rather than be patient with the young guns to mature into the real deal.
When all is put together, you wonder if it is going to be a marriage made in heaven or hell.