Manchester United are by no means guaranteed success under Jose Mourinho, according to the club’s former midfielder Paul Ince.
Ince, who won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during a six-year spell at Old Trafford, believes Mourinho is the right choice to replace Louis van Gaal.
But the ex-England international said the ‘Special One’ must first rediscover his mojo if he is to guide United back to the top of European football.
“I like to think they’ve got the right man, but you never know,” Ince said.
“You hear chairmen saying we’ve got the right man here and six months down the line they lose their job.
“You see it all the time. I’m sure when Van Gaal went to Man United everybody said ‘yeah, we’ve got the right man’.
“He was successful at Ajax and Barcelona but two seasons down the line he’s got the sack.”
Some observers feel Mourinho’s star has faded following a disappointing second spell in charge of Chelsea, which ended in his departure by mutual consent in December after losing nine out of 16 Premier League games, and Ince agrees something was not quite right.
Taking time out from promoting a short film entitled ‘The Guv’Nor’, in which he stars alongside Jimmy Bullard as part of a Carling advertisement campaign, Ince said: “I felt last year at Chelsea he didn’t seem the same Mourinho.
“Something was bugging him last year. I don’t know what it was, but he wasn’t happy at Chelsea and you could see that in the way he was acting and talking, he didn’t seem comfortable for some reason.
“It was a good time for him to get out and recharge his batteries. He’s a world-class manager, now at the biggest club in the world.”
Ince’s playing career spanned 20 years and also included spells at West Ham, Mourinho’s former club Inter Milan, Liverpool and Middlesbrough.
“Mourinho’s CV speaks for itself. He’s won all over the place, Champions Leagues, titles and he’s a winner. He knows how to win,” he said.
“So from a credential point of view you’ve got to say he’s the right man, but we’ll have to see what happens in the next couple of months.
“How is Mourinho going to play? He likes his experienced players. What does that say about the young players?
“His style of football really at the back end of last year wasn’t great and this is the biggest thing with Manchester United fans, they want the Man United style of football.”
Ince spent two seasons as an Inter player before returning to England with Liverpool in 1997 and watched with interest the 2012 ITV documentary on Mourinho, who had left Milan for Real Madrid in 2010.
“When Jose becomes available every club is going to want him and (United’s executive vice-chairman) Edward Woodward must have thought if we don’t get him now we might have missed the boat,” Ince added.
“I saw the documentary which showed the Inter players crying in the corridors with Mourinho. It just showed what the players thought about him, how they performed under him and he has to get that back.”