Mourinho to receive warm Old Trafford welcome
Manchester United will roll out the welcome mat for Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, senior club insiders state.
The Portuguese tactician was shown the door by the Red Devils 12 months ago, with reports he had lost the dressing room after a fractious relationship with some of his playing squad, especially midfielder Paul Pogba.
Mourinho was appointed Tottenham Hotspur boss earlier this month and will surely be itching to show his former employers that they made a mistake in showing him the exit.
United sources, however, have revealed one of the first people to congratulate Mourinho on replacing Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs was from the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
The pair formed a close bond during Mourinho’s two-and-a-half year reign at the Theatre of Dreams, which saw him win the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.
Win % of United Managers.
• Sir Alex Ferguson – 59.67%
• Jose Mourinho – 58.33%
• David Moyes – 52.94%
• Louis van Gaal – 52.43%
• Sir Matt Busby – 52.38%
• Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 27.30%
Let’s give him more time and see if we can get that down to a single digit #MUFC
— United Always (@UnitedAlways1) December 1, 2019
Woodward regularly went into bat for his manager, acting as a vital conduit between him and United’s owners, the Glazer family, amid plenty of dissatisfaction from United supporters over their team’s poor Premier League showings.
The Manchester giants were forced to hand over a £20million compensation package when they finally pulled the trigger on Mourinho, with neither side of the table wanting to get involved in mud-slinging.
It is understood from behind the scenes at United, they appreciated their former manager not ‘twisting the knife’ during his short spell as a pundit for Sky Sports TV this season.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid tactician will be welcomed into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s office after the game, with plenty of mutual respect between the pair existing already.
United currently have four wins from 14 in the Premier League and it will certainly be interesting to see the reaction of the home crowd towards Mourinho if he has the last laugh with a victory on his return.