Roman Abramovic decided to put an early end to the second Jose Mourinho era at Stamford Bridge. Oddly enough, Mourinho is not the manager with most to lose because of that decision but Lois Van Gaal probably is.
After Manchester United lost to Wolfsburg and had to deal with an early group-stage exit from the Champions League, Van Gaal’s job has been in jeopardy. But in less than a day of Mourinho being in the market, the rumors about the Dutch manager’s exit have reached a whole new level.
Dutch legend Marc Overmars recently defended Van Gaal saying his compatriot deserves more time to prove his worth.
“It’s crazy to criticise him so much already,” the Ajax director of football told SunSport.“In football you need patience. They are building a new team. Yes, they have spent a lot of money, but leave him to do his job.
“He has had difficult times before in his career, but always comes through. He will survive and build a very strong team.”
Nevertheless, bookies have already made Mourinho the favourite to take Van Gaal’s job. The Portuguese manager is favoured by Paddy Power with 6/5 odds and by BetVictor with 11/10 odds to take the post of United manager.
Another good indicator that Mourinho might be a consideration for the job should the Red Devils part ways with Van Gaal, are the comments made by the Sun’s reporter Rob Beasley.
Beasley is known for having inside information on Mourinho, whom he has interviewed and got exclusive reports from several times.
“He’d love to manage United,” Beasley said on BBC Radio Five Live. “The two clubs he always talked about were Liverpool, that’s gone now, he would have loved to have gone up there and reawakened Merseyside and won the league with them. The other was Manchester United.
Beasley also said that Sir Alex Ferguson had Mourinho as one of the favorites to take the helm at Old Trafford when the United legend retired from coaching.
“He (Mourinho) thought – and Fergie thought – he was getting the job when Fergie was leaving, they had spoken about it. It seemed Fergie was setting Jose up to take over. But he ended up back at Chelsea,” Beasley said. “Manchester United, he would love it. Imagine Jose Mourinho walking out in front of the Stretford End and giving them the pump fists. ‘What can we do? You’re the 12th man.’ The fans would go mental!!”
Now, if Mourinho will get the Manchester job or not depends on how Van Gaal and his team fares over the next few weeks. It is hard to believe that a manager of Mourinho’s caliber will be sitting in the market waiting for a club for too long.
If Van Gaal loses one of the next few matches against Norwich, Stoke, or even Chelsea and the mood in the locker room keeps deteriorating, he will find himself in a very tough position.
Meanwhile at Stamford Bridge, former Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink is reported to be in negotiations to take over at Chelsea following Mourinho’s sacking.