Jose Mourinho isn’t bothered about the past.
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He thrives on the pressure to deliver trophies back to Manchester United.
Ahead of United’s clash with Sunderland on Boxing Day (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) there’s been plenty of talk about trying to get back to the glory days of the Sir Alx Ferguson era at Old Trafford.
Former United manager, and current Sunderland boss, David Moyes, has spoken out about the traditions of the club disappearing. Of course both Moyes and Louis Van Gaal tried and failed to make United into Premier League title challengers but Mourinho doesn’t feel United’s past success is a burden. Quite the opposite.
“I don’t feel it as a burden, I feel the great history of the club as only positive things and not negative things,” Mourinho said. “The problem is, if you have the conditions to follow that success? Then that’s a different story. One thing is having Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, all those guys 25, 26, 27 years old; it’s another thing to have them at 30, 31, 32; another thing it doesn’t happen.
“Obviously that plays a part so there are generations and in a certain period when probably David came the situation was not so easy, it was not so easy to go in that winning direction. At the same time – and I think this is even more important – the Premier League was changing.”
There’s no doubting that the pressure on Mourinho is intense but he is being given time to rebuild United into a superpower with big money spend on Paul Pogba, plus Zlatan Ibrahimovic tempted to join him once again. It will take time to turn things around, which is something neither Moyes or LVG really got.
Moyes had nine months. Van Gaal had less than 24 months.
It remains to be seen how long Mourinho will get but his side is showing signs of vast improvement and are now just four points off the top four heading into Boxing Day. You’d imagine Mourinho would get longer than both of his predecessors as he looks to deliver the glory days once again.