Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Jose's ideal for United'

Lampard backs Mourinho to be Old Trafford success

Jose Mourinho has been tipped to be a success if takes up the Manchester United post in the summer.
Jose Mourinho has been tipped to be a success if takes up the Manchester United post in the summer.

Frank Lampard has predicted Jose Mourinho would be a success at Old Trafford, if Manchester United are looking for a new boss.

Chelsea's record goalscorer suggested Louis van Gaal was looking to leave United this summer, but that appears to not be the case as the Dutchman has repeatedly scoffed at media speculation over his future and is under contract for another year.

Lampard, who worked under Mourinho during the Portuguese manager's two spells at Stamford Bridge, was asked where his former boss might end up next following his departure from Chelsea in December.


Lampard said: "I don't know. I haven't spoken to him much. I spoke to him briefly when he left Chelsea.

"There's a bit of a merry-go-round of managers at the minute and I think he'll probably sit tight for a while and then will end up at a big club somewhere, because he's a great manager."

Asked whether that big club might be United, Lampard added: "I think it's a possibility.

"If Louis van Gaal goes on, which I think he's said he's going to leave at the end of the season at the latest, I think Mourinho's the type of manager that will certainly come into their thinking.

"He could certainly handle a club like that, that's what he's about."

To the annoyance of many United fans, there were no questions from investors about Van Gaal or the possibility that he could be replaced by Mourinho, when the club's executive director Ed Woodward had a conference call with them yesterday.

One of the concerns about Mourinho centres on his poor record of bringing through youth players.

Woodward made it clear that United's fabled academy is key to the club's future.

"The academy continues to be the heart of the club," Woodward said.

"Giving youth a chance is part of our philosophy, part of our DNA."

The executive vice-chairman ordered a review of the academy following the departure of its head Brian McClair, who left to become the Scottish Football Association's performance director last year.

Woodward, meanwhile, announced a record second-quarter revenue total of £133.8million, up 26.6 per cent on last year.

Commercial revenue for the second quarter was £66.1million - an increase of 42.5 per cent on the previous year.

Broadcasting revenues were also up 31.3 per cent and sponsorship revenue for the second quarter was up £1.6million to £37.4million.

Woodward said: "Our strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy and the broader club are ultimately underpinned by our financial strength and the hard work and dedication of everyone at the club.

"Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority - success on the pitch."

Woodward has defended United's record in the transfer market, despite the team's poor performances and disappointing position in the Premier League.

United may be six points adrift of the top four and out of the Champions League, but their success off the pitch is unparalleled.

The club estimate they will make £500-510million this year thanks to their numerous sponsorship deals.


"Our financial performance during the second quarter was very strong with record revenues and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization)," Woodward said.

The executive vice-chairman reeled off a long list of commercial deals the club had signed recently, however, with the team faring so poorly on the pitch, United's investment of the money they have earned from their commercial deals has inevitably come under the spotlight.

One investor wanted to know how Leicester could have put together their title-leading team for little over £20million, while United sat 12 points adrift of the Foxes in fifth position after spending over £250million since Van Gaal took over.

Woodward argued it would be impossible for United to assemble such a successful squad on the cheap. "Leicester is a fantastic reference point for everyone this year," he said.

"I think the philosophy we have is to target quality of players based on the huge amount of scouting that we do and analysis within the training ground and then we do our best to do the best deal we can.

"Some players are bought by other clubs with an eye to them developing into something special in a few years' time, whereas there's more pressure on the bigger clubs to bring in players who are going to be hitting the ground running and top players, verging on world-class players, almost immediately so there is a slightly different market in which people are buying."

Woodward doesn't see the Chinese Super League as a threat to United, and added: "If nothing else, it's another useful market if we are looking to sell players."

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