1. Finish in the top four, at least
If, by the end of this season, Manchester United have finished in the top four then this would have to be perceived as more successful than last season.
Failure to even get in a position where pre-qualification was necessary for the Champion’s League was the final nail in the coffin of Louis Van Gaal. The previous couple of nails had been the boring football and the fact that his popularity with the fans had sunk lower than a snake’s belly.
The appointment of Pep Guardiola over at The Etihad also didn’t help his cause as he was not seen as the ideal manager to go head to head with the Spaniard.
2. Have a decent run in the Europa League
Whilst not a competition that every Manchester United supporter can warm to, it would certainly be beneficial to Mourinho to have a lengthy run in Big Vase. He needs to go further in a European tournament than his predecessor and the fans don’t really care that it would be a different European tournament, they just care that he progresses to a further stage than did van Gaal. This would then be seen as more successful than last season and would be another feather in the cap for the Special One.
3. Play entertaining, attacking football whenever possible
After the mind-numbingly boring displays of Manchester United under, firstly David Moyes and secondly, Louis van Gaal, Mourinho needs to inject a little excitement into the team displays, particularly at Old Trafford. He will always be forgiven for being a little more cautious away from home but, at home, the natives want entertaining and so do the rest of the crowd.
With the likes of Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic added to the team this should not prove as difficult as it did for Moyes and van Gaal who both seemed to build their teams round Fellaini and then proceeded to send everybody to sleep.
4. Sign Antoine Griezmann in January
If this deal is possible then it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Now that Ed Woodward has worked out how it all goes with transfers and the like, I have every confidence in him being able to secure the services of Griezmann for the usual vastly inflated fee which Ed seems to enjoy paying.
Griezmann would add an attacking dimension to the team currently not available. He would also add goals as his record at Atlético suggests.
The other advantage is that he actually appears to want to come to Old Trafford. This is no doubt due mainly to the presence of his mate, Paul Pogba, and the absence of a certain Dutchman who shall remain nameless.
5. Try and shift some of the deadwood before it begins to have a negative effect
There are suggestions that Bastian Schweinsteiger is quite happy to collect his wages for the next two years, if necessary, without kicking a ball. This is a position into which United have managed to get themselves but it is also one which they could do with getting themselves out of.
It is hardly a great example to the younger players who are watching a world famous footballer collect a fortune from a club for doing precisely nothing. Yes, he is approaching the end of his career and this is something Ed Woodward should have thought about before agreeing to the contract. Manchester United would only offer the likes of Giggs and Carrick, who had been with the club for years, a one year deal because they were over the age of thirty. Why is it different for Schweinsteiger?
In fairness, it was Woodward who gave David Moyes a seven year contract so he obviously hasn’t a clue when it comes to the importance of negotiating a fair contract. Just in case he is reading this; it is supposed to be fair for United as well, Ed, not just the player or manager in question!
So Schweinsteiger has to go as does Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj. Personally I would also throw in Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Chris Smalling, but I appreciate that this might leave the squad a little thin, particularly if only Griezmann is recruited.
Seriously though, some players really do need to be moved on and it is becoming a matter of some urgency.
Of the five things listed above any two would represent success compared with last season. It is, however, imperative that of the two items, number one on the list is half of them.
The original article can be found on the excellent Why Say Anything?
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