The Portuguese laid the platform for a successful second season by pouring his resources into winning the Europea League last year.
And Edwards, chairman at United from 1980 to 2002, couldn’t help but note that, for the first time in a while, he was excited by what was happening at Old Trafford under the Portuguese.
“I think he is [the right man] having watched him last year,” he said. The home games were not particularly entertaining, but he was building a side.
“I thought he did exceptionally well to win two trophies last year. He gambled on winning the Europa League to get back in the Champions League and it paid off.
“United supporters were delighted, and what he’s done since by the players he’s bought in the summer, I think he’s improved the squad.
“I’m excited this year, and for the first time in a while I feel as though we’re back in exciting times.
And when asked whether he could see similarities with Sir Alex, he responded: “Yes, I think so. Alex set such a fantastic record and example it was always going to be difficult for anybody, but with Jose’s experience and the amount of trophies he’s won over time I’ve got great hopes.”
Mourinho has done something simple at United that, really, could have been done some time ago if it wasn’t for a series of bureaucratic blunders from the board: outline a clear vision that players and supporters can buy into.
The Portuguese is restoring elements to the side’s play that, for no good reason, largely disappeared for three years. He has invoked a sense of ruthlessness, speed up top, a strong core in the middle, and a willingness go pour forward.
There is, of course, more work to be done, but the basic structure being laid down by Mourinho for this season is deeply encouraging.