Paul Ince has warned Manchester United to be wary in declaring Jose Mourinho as their saviour just yet.
Ince spent six years at Old Trafford and knows what it takes to be a winner at the club. He won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during his spelling there between 1989 and 1995.
The former Man United midfielder believes there was something bugging Mourinho at Chelsea last season and needed time to recharge his batteries after a hectic final few months in charge at Stamford Bridge.
“I like to think they’ve got the right man, but you never know,” he said.
“You hear chairmen saying we’ve got the right man here and six months down the line they lose their job.
“You see it all the time. I’m sure when Van Gaal went to Man United everybody said ‘yeah, we’ve got the right man’.
“He was successful at Ajax and Barcelona but two seasons down the line he’s got the sack.”
Mourinho won the league in his second year back in English football but his Chelsea side capitulated the season after before sacking the Portuguese manager in December.
On what Ince believes was something bugging him last year, he added: “Something was bugging him last year. I don’t know what it was, but he wasn’t happy at Chelsea and you could see that in the way he was acting and talking, he didn’t seem comfortable for some reason.
“It was a good time for him to get out and recharge his batteries. He’s a world-class manager, now at the biggest club in the world.”
Seeing Mourinho’s Chelsea usurp David Moyes’ United side to go on and complete the worst ever Premier League title defence was certainly strange and entirely unpredicted – even more so when you saw how much the team improved after his acrimonious exit.
Was it Mourinho’s fault the players had bottomed out? Were there mitigating circumstances which irreversibly damaged his ability to manage and lead them? You can make your own standpoint on what went on at Chelsea which caused them to fall apart so dramatically but United fans will be looking to his previous successes as the platform which he can build on, rather than the collapse at Stamford Bridge.
He’s an almost perennial winner and at a time when United have lost that, he could be the perfect fit for reinstating that self-belief and arrogance back into a team which desperately needs it again.