Souness’ Dig at Mourinho
It’s never a good thing to step on Jose Mourinho’s toes and former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness could be forced to reassess his claim Portuguese tactician was not the right man for Manchester United.
Graeme Souness thinks Manchester United ‘felt compelled to get a big name’ after seeing Pep Guardiola join their neighbours and admits he was never convinced by the Red Devils’ choice to bring in Mourinho as Louis van Gaal’s successor.
Needless to say, the former Reds boss Souness’ words turned a couple of heads and went on to upset the Red Devils fans who pointed out that Jose Mourinho got a taste of the Community Shield glory, and got EFL Cup and Europa League success during his first year in charge at Old Trafford, despite guiding his club to only the sixth place in the Premier League.
On the other side, Pep Guardiola did guide his men to a third-place finish but ended the season with no silverware to boast with for the first time in his career.
Both managers have been proactive during the summer transfer window as they prepare to start their respective second seasons at their own clubs, which made us have a look back at Jose Mourinho’s second seasons with his previous clubs.
Mourinho Thrives During 2nd Seasons
What we found is enough evidence to suggest Graeme Souness might go on to eat his own words this time next year. Second seasons is when Jose Mourinho flourishes and thrives in environments he gets familiar with and even the Portuguese tactician himself does not hide it.
“The first season is hard. I enjoy the second because in the second I know I’m not making mistakes.”, Mourinho said.
During his time at FC Porto and Inter Milan subsequently, it was the second season when Jose Mourinho won those landmark Champions League trophies. As a Real Madrid boss, Jose Mourinho’s second season at Santiago Bernabeu allowed him to finally pip Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona to the Spanish La Liga title while breaking points and scoring records along the way.
The only exception to the rule of Jose Mourinho’s second season, if you can call it that way, was Chelsea back in 2005/06. The Blues did win the Premier League, but their domestic success came with four points short of their league success a year back in 2004/05. Add the FA Cup trophy to the lot and there you have only Champions League glory missing and marring his overall record.
Even in his second spell at the Stamford Bridge, the second season proved justice to Mourinho’s phenomenon of sorts. Having finished the season on the back of a biggest away victory after that 5-0 win at Swansea, and recording the highest scoring in a single game in a 6-3 win over Everton, the Blues claimed the Premier League title with three games to spare.
Having brought Blues their first domestic title since 2010, Mourinho also scooped the Manager of the Season award.
Will his Second Season at Old Trafford be a Success?
Backed by the board in an undeniable support from the upper echelons at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho heads into his second season with a competitive side that is currently being rebuilt by some world-class additions such as Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Fabinho, who is expected to join as well.
The Portuguese tactician is now fully familiar with the squad and his new surroundings while he is also expected to close the summer market with a striker that will replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and add an extra cutting edge upfront, so it is safe to say that Red Devils head into the next campaign well-positioned to be a success.
Manchester United are given 3/1 betting odds to be crowned the Premier League champions next season, which puts them among the top favourites alongside Chelsea and Manchester City.
Come the end of the summer and we feel even Graeme Souness would not want to be against them.