Modern football is now moulded by a definitive need for instant success and short-term accomplishments. It is all about the here and now for owners and supporters who are focused entirely on where their club is positioned in the league table, how their team played in their last fixture and are they going to win the next contest at the weekend.
The game is characterised by short-termism and knee-jerk reactions at the cost of long-term planning and enduring philosophies.
Football managers operating in England are acutely aware of this fact. For them, it is a case of attempting to survive on a day to day, week-to-week basis, where the only thing that truly matters is the result of the next match.
Of the 92 clubs that occupy the top four divisions of English football, only 22 managers have been in their position for more than two years – sackings, dismissals and appointments appear to be reported on an almost weekly basis.
Already this season Frank de Boer lost his job at Crystal Palace after just four games, whilst last year Claudio Ranieri was ruthlessly sacked by Leicester City less than six months after guiding the club to a remarkable Premier League triumph. Even this week, the Italian’s replacement at the King Power Stadium, Craig Shakespeare, was dismissed just four months into a three-year contract.
The general consensus is that Arsene Wenger is the last of a dying breed – managers are no longer provided with the time and patience to build a dynasty.
Manchester United moving beyond the shadow of Ferguson
The shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson still looms large over Old Trafford, even four years after his retirement in 2013.
The Scotsman is one of the best football managers of all time, winning a grand total of 38 trophies over 26 years with Manchester United, and his departure from the dugout left exceedingly large shoes for his successors to fill.
David Moyes proved to be a poor appointment and his lack of managerial experience at an elite club quickly came to the forefront and undermined his short-lived spell in charge whilst even Louis Van Gaal struggled to pull the club out of the post-Ferguson lull.
And so we came to Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese Maestro is one of the most successful managers in the modern era having won titles and trophies in England, Spain, Portugal and Italy in addition to the Europa League and Champions League twice each. He has worked with some of the best players in the world and has undoubtedly left an impact wherever he has been employed.
However, despite this success Mourinho has never remained at a club for longer than three seasons, barring his inaugural spell with Chelsea, and has failed to build a long-term dynasty. His perceived arrogance and confrontational nature certainly do not lend themselves to long-term sustainability and the general consensus is that his arrival at a club will bring trophies, but the fun will never last.
Ferguson is considered to be one of the best managers of all time and if Mourinho is to emulate the Scotsman at Old Trafford then he needs to do much more than simply win a handful of trophies over a couple of years. Winning silverware is impressive, but maintaining success over an extended period of time is what creates a legend.
Mourinho has started his career at Old Trafford firmly on the front foot. His debut season with the club ended in success in domestic and European competitions resulting in a long-awaited return to the Champions League. True, the league campaign was crippled by 10 draws on home soil, but there were signs that United were beginning to head in the right direction.
The progress continued during the summer and Mourinho moved quickly to correct the errors that undermined the previous season. Romelu Lukaku has brought the power, pace and firepower to see off lesser teams, while Namanja Matic has added steel, discipline and authority to the midfield as Marcus Rashford continues to improve.
United are yet to be beaten in the Premier League and are favourites to qualify for the knock out stages of the Champions League having won their opening three group matches – in fact, the Reds have been ruthlessly swatting aside opposition.
Mourinho’s chance to build a dynasty
Jose Mourinho has demonstrated that he can develop and mould a team capable of winning league titles and silverware, but his arrival at Manchester United provides him with an unlikely opportunity to become something more than just a short-term fix.
We all know that he can win trophies, but can he maintain success over an extended period of time and build a dynasty? Sir Alex Ferguson continuously remoulded and modernised his teams to ensure that the club dominated English football for the best part of two decades, something that none of successors have looked even remotely capable of repeating.
That shadow and legacy has hung over those that have followed in his footsteps, but in Mourinho the club have a character with the confidence and authority to implement his own legacy.
United are a club that demands success, but should Jose Mourinho wish to be remembered with the same respect, admiration and appreciation as Ferguson then he needs to do much more than just facilitate a short-term revival before departing.
This is his opportunity to build a dynasty and legacy that will cement him as one of the club’s greatest managers – but in order to do this, he needs to prove that he can maintain success for longer than two or three seasons.
Does Tottenham’s reported Alassane Plea swoop suggest Anthony Martial pursuit is over?
Does this new pursuit suggest Tottenham are finished with the Manchester United man?
Tottenham have opened negotiations for OGC Nice forward Alassane Plea with an offer of around 25 million euros (£21.9m), as Mauricio Pochettino looks to bolster the supply line to 41-goal man Harry Kane, according to reports from Foot Mercato.
The 25-year-old striker stood out this season for the Ligue 1 outfit, bagging an impressive 21 goals and seven assists in 49 appearances for a stuttering side, and the Spurs boss has decided he could be the man to diversify the attack at White Hart Lane next term.
Anthony Martial was originally touted as high on the list 0f the Argentine’s targets last month, according to London Evening Standard, but it appears that, after failing to gather any traction in negotiations for the Frenchman, the Lilywhites could have ended all hope of landing his signature.
Both players employ a similar play-style, using their speed and attacking intelligence to trouble defences with runs in-behind, and it seems unlikely Pochettino would try to land both this summer, given previous financial restrictions in recent years.
The most likely outcome is that Spurs have decided that financially, the pursuit of Martial isn’t worth what Manchester United are demanding – the Mirror having reported that the Red Devils have slapped a £75 million price-tag on the 22-year-old – and Alassane Plea is a secondary target.
Manchester United World Cup round-up: David De Gea bounces back for Spain
As one of the world’s biggest clubs, it is no surprise to see a host of names linked to Manchester United in action at the biggest stage in the form of the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Only one current player was in action on Wednesday, goalkeeper David de Gea, but he was joined in action by ex-players and transfer targets.
The Player: David de Gea (Spain)
After a humiliating mistake earned some harsh critics from Spain, David de Gea bounced back by getting his first clean sheet of the World Cup for the Spaniards against Iran in a 1-0 win.
It was perhaps not as quiet an evening as the goalkeeper may have been hoping for and he did look a little nervous early on, but he settled into the game and looked more like his composed and confident self as the game went on.
A clean sheet will give him renewed belief after two consecutive mistakes in a friendly against Switzerland and the World Cup opener against Portugal.
The Ex-Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
It was an ex-Red Devil who capitalised on De Gea’s error in the opening round of World Cup games, and Cristiano Ronaldo added a fourth World Cup goal to ensure he remains on top spot of the goalscoring charts.
That came in another 1-0 win, for Portugal against Morocco, as he powered home a powerful header in just the fourth minute to put his team into pole position and see out their first win of the campaign.
Whilst many of his team-mates struggled and looked lacklustre at times, no-one can question the unbelievable quality of the Real Madrid player.
The Transfer Target: Jose Gimenez (Uruguay)
It now looks unlikely that Jose Gimenez will move to Old Trafford after signing a new long-term deal with Atletico Madrid, but the Express reported that the club were considering a move for him this summer after months of links.
The young central defender lined up alongside club team-mate Diego Godin for Uruguay in the heart of defence against Saudi Arabia and enjoyed a comfortable afternoon as Saudi Arabia struggled to really threaten.
England must start Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Panama reveal tactics
England must opt for creativity after the Panama captain’s comments
Panama have revealed plans stifle England with a physical approach in their upcoming clash on Sunday, in quotes from captain Roman Torres on the Telegraph, and Gareth Southgate should ensure the Three Lions’ approach is suited to the style of opponent.
The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by a star-studded Belgium outfit on Monday in their World Cup debut, meaning a win against England is pivotal in ensuring they remain in the competition beyond the group stages. And England will have a tough task taking the lion’s share of points on the day.
“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space,” revealed Torres told the Telegraph.
And as a result England must employ the right tactics. Creativity and bravery will be key, as they will undoubtedly have the majority of possession, and Southgate will want to make it count. Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added instant impetus to a languid outfit, after coming on late against Tunisia.
The team’s performance became full of purpose and directness in the last 20 minutes, with both taking the responsibility of carrying the ball forward and creating, and from that arrived the corner and subsequent winner from Harry Kane.
The end product from the likes of Rashford was missing in the opening stages of the game also, as team-mate Jesse Lingard squandered a number of key opportunities to put the game to bed early, and Southgate will not want a repeat this time around.