Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United fans welcomed Jose Mourinho’s appointment as the club’s new manager on Friday but said the pressure was now on to deliver quick results for a team whose recent form has been lacklustre.
“I think the new manager will bring a bit more flair into United,” said Peter Davy, standing outside the club’s Old Trafford ground as three hawkers stood selling scarves bearing the Portuguese coach’s image.
Davy said he thought Mourinho’s predecessor Louis van Gaal, who was booted out unceremoniously on Monday despite leading United to victory in the FA Cup final two days beforehand, should have been given another chance.
But he said he was hoping for a change of pace.
“I think they will play a different style of football, which the other manager didn’t do,” he told AFP.
“I don’t think he was playing enough attacking football for my liking.”
Friday’s copy of the Manchester Evening News carried a front-page photo of Mourinho in the club’s red colour with the simple headline: “He’s the One”.
Also passing by the storied 75,600-capacity stadium was Steve Roland, who said he tried never to miss a game and warned the new manager would have to adapt quickly.
“Mourinho’s going to be coming into a situation where he’s going to have to change some of his ways and he’s got three years to do it,” he said.
“I don’t want this first year to be: ‘I’m just testing the waters’. I want us to hit the ground running. I don’t want us a draw,” he added.
Like many fans, Roland said he still remembered the shock of his team being knocked out of the Champions League at the hands of Mourinho’s Porto side in 2004.
Mourinho had celebrated in front of the United fans.
“Some fans have still got that in their top drawer,” Roland grumbled, pointing to his head.
Tim Ballham, who said he supported a different team but declined to say which one, complained that Van Gaal had been treated “terribly” in the past few days.
“He did well bringing in the young players but their style of football was pretty bad to watch and I don’t think Jose is the right man for them,” he said.
“Who knows. He does win things and every football fan wants that don’t they? So he might well win them something and something big but I can’t see it long term myself.
“I might be proven wrong but there you go.”