John Obi Mikel backs Jose Mourinho to take Man United to Sir Alex Ferguson’s level

by Leo Nieboer


Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel believes Jose Mourinho can take Manchester United back to the level they reached under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mourinho’s side have made a mixed start to the 2016/17 campaign, displaying emphatic performances against Leicester City and Fenerbahce in recent weeks, whilst also demonstrating an aptitude for crumbling, as revealed against the likes of Watford and Feyenoord.

Man United travel to Chelsea on Sunday five points off the top of the table and three points behind fourth place.

Mikel, who was signed by Mourinho back in 2006 for Chelsea, has claims the 53-year-old can help United restore the same level of performance displayed under Sir Alex.

“I have no doubts — he hasn’t lost any of his magic, not at all,” he said.

“When people start to question his qualities, he loves to prove a point, he thrives on it. He always wants to show people are wrong.

“I think he will bring Manchester United back to where Sir Alex Ferguson left them [as title winners in 2013] but he needs time. He is like an architect, he likes to build.

“Jose doesn’t always win the title in the first season — just look at Real Madrid or his second spell at Chelsea. Yes, he wants to win from the get-go but in the first year he gets to know how the club work, installs his formation and the way he wants the team to play.

“I’m not writing United off this season either but give him two to three years and he will definitely win big trophies at Old Trafford.”

United fans will know, deep down, that those days of uninterrupted, ruthless dominance of yesteryear are well and truly over. The idea of ‘restoring the good old days’ never works, whether it be football related or not. Sometimes, as a United fan, it is worth remembering exactly how spoilt we were, how privileged we were to go to Old Trafford every week and sit back to watch Ferguson’s faceless machine do nothing but win, win and win.

What Mourinho can tap into, however, is the air or arrogance that pervaded the Theatre of Dreams for so many years, a kind of blissful, us-against-them romance in the pursuit of victory – an attitude that never even threatened to emerge under either David Moyes or Louis van Gaal.

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