Former-Manchester United man Lee Sharpe has suggested that Jose Mourinho is going down the same route of stubbornness that caused Arsene Wenger’s success to decline over the years.
Mourinho lit English football up with the ruthlessness and power of his teams when he first arrived at Chelsea, and won the league in his second spell, too. He’s won the treble at Internazionale in Italy, leagues in Spain, England, Italy and Portugal.
However, he’s into his third season at Man United and he’s yet to lift the title. His first season saw United win the UEFA Europa League for the first time, as well as the League Cup. But United finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City last season and don’t look ready to challenge this season.
Wenger left Arsenal in the summer after a 22 years in North London and after making himself the most successful manager in the club’s history. Mourinho, though, once called him a “specialist in failure” given he didn’t win a title from 2004 until he left the club/
Sharpe believes Mourinho is being too stubborn in terms of his style of play and techniques, just like Wenger was.
“That’s one thing showing now with Mourinho,” Sharpe began.
“He came over, called himself the ‘Special One’ and went out and won things. He was full of life and entertaining in his press conferences when he first came over. Now he’s dour, depressed, fed up and his team’s playing the same way.
“If you’re calling yourself the Special One you have to be able to move with the times like Sir Alex did. He always had something up his sleeve if one thing wasn’t working. He always had an alternative way to win.”
Sir Alex Ferguson was famously brilliant at adapting to football as it modernised. He dealt with the challenge of Wenger arriving in 1996, of Mourinho coming to England in 2004, of Rafa Benitez at Liverpool in the late 2000s and then finally, he saw off Manchester City and their oil money in the early 2010s.
Mourinho is yet to show he can be adaptable. He must be to succeed at United and weather the current storm that surrounds him.