The Portuguese was appointed back in 2016 following a miserable season under the Dutchman and inherited a squad that he described as “sad”, signing Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba during his first window.
He could only manage a sixth place finish in the Premier League but guided his side to victory in the League Cup and the Champions League group stages by winning the Europa League.
But Souness, as per, was far from complimentary of Mourinho when evaluating his first season in charge at Old Trafford.
“I didn’t think Mourinho was right for United and I said that from day one,” he said.
“Because Guardiola was coming in at Manchester City, the people making decisions at Old Trafford felt compelled to go and get a big name manager and they ended up with Jose.”
“He has taken on a very difficult job at United and struggled to find his find his best eleven last season, if he ever found it.
Now, listen, remarks like this would usually be my cue to lay into the miserable amalgamation of cells that is what we call Graeme Souness, lambasting him as just another sixty-something incapable of seeing the good in anything – but I’m not going to do that. I’m not.
Instead, I want to look at where Souness is coming from and try to understand why, despite what was a successful season for United, he disagrees with Mourinho being at the helm.
Is it perhaps because the Portuguese, in just one season at Old Trafford, has one more trophies than Liverpool have managed in 11 years? Possibly, but the reasons go deeper than that, I think.
Souness may be, um, leaning towards the conservative side, let’s say, of footballing discourse, but he was part of a Liverpool side that won emphatically and won with pomp. And the sight of Mourinho languishing in the Premier League and invoking an uninspiring style of football does not align with what he thinks a trophy winning side should look like.
But that, I suppose, is the difference between Liverpool and United at the moment: one plays nice football; the other wins trophies.