United fully deserve Mourinho, says Neil Humphreys
United won't get him for long, but Fergie's kind of longevity is ancient history
The literal masterminds have been vocal in the last couple of days, showing off their knowledge of their special subject, "the bleeding obvious".
In both print and on screen, they've stepped forward to reveal their latent genius with the following pronouncements.
Jose Mourinho doesn't behave himself.
He doesn't advocate youth over experience.
He doesn't trust attacking football.
And, most worrying of all, he doesn't hang around.
These patronising truisms would be less insufferable if they weren't accompanied with a smugness that suggested the secrets of football's elusive universe had just been uncovered.
Yes, Mourinho doesn't do longevity. We know that.
And, here's another blindingly obvious statement to go with the last one, nor does anyone else in modern football.
Sir Alex Ferguson was a unique manager who's fast turning into myth as his colossal achievements are slowly slipped into context.
He was both a man of his time and out of his time, i.e. a manager forged in a Scottish era of austerity, pragmatism and patience, qualities that allowed him to endure at Old Trafford.
But, by the end of the century, Ferguson was already an anachronism, a relic of a lost world. Arsene Wenger is now the last of their kind.
Last season, the Arsenal masses screamed for his head, until he guided the Gunners to their highest Premier League finish for a decade.
And a sizeable section of the Arsenal faithful still want him sacked.
Permanency and patience are quaint football values from yesteryear, along with baggy shorts, FA Cup finals that actually matter and all-English line-ups.
This is a frenetic, belligerent, vein-bursting, forum-ranting environment of our own creation; a foaming, frothing instant gratification arena that savages Manchester United for delaying the Louis van Gaal sacking.
But what was the actual delay? Whose schedule was the club supposedly adhering to? Clearly, it wasn't their own, but the jittery, fidgety Twitter generation demanding fresh updates with every tweet.
The insatiable demand for instant action, instant beheadings and instant progress were only marginally less irritating than the hypocrisy that followed.
First, United are criticised for not firing a manager within five minutes of winning the club's first FA Cup in 12 years.
And then, United are criticised for hiring a manager who didn't last five seasons at any of his previous clubs.
By that rationale, the only manager who currently ticks the longevity box is Wenger and, again, he'll be lucky to survive another anti-climatic season at Arsenal.
Modern football is not only hindered by the attention span of a goldfish, it's also cyclical. Even the game's most successful careerists acknowledge its limited shelf life and use it to their advantage.
Pep Guardiola followed four years at Barcelona with a fixed three at Bayern Munich. If he lasts longer at Manchester City, it'll not only be a minor miracle. It'll also be a significant shift in career strategy.
Mourinho, famously, hasn't lasted more than three years anywhere. But he is still football's most reliable firework, dazzling brightly before fizzling quickly.
After the tepid David Moyes and the torpor of van Gaal's dullards, United will gratefully accept a little initial dazzle.
So would every other club in the Premier League, where success is no longer measured in dynasties, but days.
Mourinho is undoubtedly a grubby, slightly tarnished product of his environment, but he's proven remarkably adept at dealing with it.
In many respects, he's the antithesis of a traditional United coach, favouring established, older footballers who adhere closely to a safer, controlled, counter-attacking template.
The Portuguese pragmatist will certainly spend more time checking text messages from close friend and super agent Jorge Mendes than he will checking Nicky Butt's youth academy at United.
He can't even promise a more attractive spectacle than the dire fare served at Old Trafford last season.
What his track record can promise, on the other hand, are trophies.
And that's as good as it's ever going to get in the EPL's impetuous, needy, demanding climate, particularly at a club where the American owners view United's global brand as a cash-spitting ATM.
To suggest otherwise really would be extraordinarily naive.
Mourinho's final months at Chelsea highlighted every narcissistic trait and ugly characteristic that put off United director Sir Bobby Charlton (and Ferguson) the first time round.
But their honourable opinions were shaped by a simpler, gentler industry that no longer exists.
The intolerant climate that defined Mourinho is the same intolerant climate that cannot even wait for van Gaal to leave the country with his dignity intact before sacking him and appointing his successor.
The modern game gets the managers it deserves. And Manchester United fully deserve Jose Mourinho.
SPECIAL ONE’S CAREER IN NUMBERS
6 Number of different clubs managed by the Portuguese, starting with Benfica in 2000. There have since been stints at Uniao de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea (two spells), inter Milan and Real Madrid.
513 League games managed at his six different clubs.
32 Honours won, including two Champions Leagues, three Premier League titles, two serie a crowns, one La Liga success and two Portuguese league wins.
'I love Jose, but he's not Man United'
Jose Mourinho is close to becoming Manchester United's next manager, but club great Eric Cantona believes Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola would have been a better fit.
Louis van Gaal's turbulent two-year Old Trafford reign was brought to an end on Monday, just two days after leading the Red Devils to their first major trophy of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
The divisive Dutchman paid for United's prosaic style and underwhelming substance, with last Saturday's FA Cup win unable to mask the poor Premier League performances that saw United miss out on Champions League qualification by goal difference.
Mourinho is set to succeed the man he assisted at Barcelona and Press Association Sport understands executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is holding talks with his agent Jorge Mendes in London.
It appears to be a case of when rather than if the Portuguese succeeds van Gaal, and the former Chelsea manager certainly has the respect of Cantona.
But the striker, so synonymous with United's success under Ferguson, believes that, while Mourinho is one of the best managers around, United missed a trick in not moving for Guardiola.
The Spaniard takes the reins at neighbours City this summer after exceptional spells at the Barcelona and Bayern Munich, playing a style more akin to that expected at Old Trafford.
"I love Jose Mourinho but, in terms of the type of football he plays, I don't think he is Manchester United," Cantona (photo) told the Guardian. "I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour.
"He is very intelligent, he demands 100 per cent of his players. And, of course, he wins things.
"But I don't think it's the type of football that the fans of Manchester United will love, even if they win.
"He can win with Manchester United. But do they expect that type of football, even if they win? I don't think so."
"Guardiola was the one to take," added Cantona, who suggested he is open to returning to Old Trafford as manager one day. "He is the spiritual son of Johan Cruyff.
"I would have loved to have seen Guardiola at United.
"He is the only one to change United. He is in Manchester, but at the wrong one."
As for the new manager, the seemingly inevitable appointment of Mourinho has been called a "nice prospect" by Memphis Depay.
United teammate Daley Blind also spoke positively about Mourinho, saying he has "achieved much", but the overriding emotion was one of disappointment for van Gaal.
"I always worked well with him and would have been keen that the co-operation lasted longer," Blind said of van Gaal at Holland's training camp in Portugal.
"The manager of a top club in England is naturally under much more pressure but, over the last six months, he has not been treated fairly.
"A manager like van Gaal, who has achieved so much already, deserved more respect.
"Even though there was so much being written about him losing his job over the last months, he always looked to protect and shelter us.
"It is not easy for a coach if you are repeatedly being fired in the newspapers." - PA Sport.
More than anything, United have to get back to winning ways — yet it has to be done with style. Mourinho has been around English football long enough to understand that. His winning mentality is there for all to see, but he’ll be clever enough to change his philosophy and get into the Manchester United mould.
— Former Red Devils striker Teddy Sheringham