‘Mourinho has a choice to make — adapt like Fergie or fade away like Wenger’
Jose Mourinho now has a choice to make — he can either go the way of Sir Alex Ferguson or the way of Arsene Wenger.
His assistant Rui Faria is moving on this summer and that gives Mourinho the perfect opportunity to freshen up his backroom staff and ideas.
Fergie regularly did that during his glory days at Old Trafford, and look how well it worked out for him and Manchester United .
If Mourinho does that and if he looks at the methodology of what Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Jurgen Klopp have done, and what Mauricio Pochettino is doing, then he will keep winning silverware.
Because I genuinely believe he still has the fire in his belly and the mojo to win Premier League titles and European trophies.
But if he doesn’t, then he could easily go down the Wenger route of becoming bitter and refusing to move on. We will still respect what he has done over the years but we will know he is not going to win any big trophies in the future.
He must also make changes on the field.
Ashley Young, particularly in the first half, was United’s most dynamic player and that tells you everything you need to know about the state of the side right now.
They’re too big, too lumbering and, in some cases, too old, and the Portuguese has to get much more mobility in his side if they are to win anything, or even challenge, next season.
He has already started that process by moving on from Michael Carrick and he must now do the same with players like Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Like Carrick, they have all been great servants of the club, but they were just too slow against Chelsea in a game which proved their time is up.
When Jones brought down Eden Hazard for the penalty, it gave me a glimpse of what might be at the World Cup when England take on Belgium and it wasn’t something I wanted to see.
What United need are smaller, faster, more mobile players, as has been proven by Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham this season.
Because the Mourinho method of a good big ’un being better than a good little ’un only works if everybody is super quick, and that isn’t the case with this United side.
Now he must choose which of his marquee men he keeps and which he sends on his way.
Alexis Sanchez is inconsistent and not enjoying his football at the moment, but he is probably still worn out from a non-stop couple of years and we should see better from him next season. Paul Pogba still isn’t grabbing games like these by the scruff of the neck as he should.
He is showing little glimpses of great passing and forward movement but not enough and, whatever has been the issue, he and Mourinho need to sort it out.
David De Gea has to stay as well, while Romelu Lukaku has hit every benchmark in world football for his age.
But they need more mobility in the ranks around them.
They are the big dogs at United and they won’t see off Mourinho, but he has to bring in some nippy little mutts who will give them back their bark and bite.
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