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The Worst Thing Jose Mourinho Can Do at Man Utd is Tear it All Up and Start From Scratch

24/05/2016 17:33 | Updated 24 May 2016

You don't have to search too hard to find rumours of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United war chest, valued anywhere from £150million to £200million or more, lists of 'X Players Mourinho Will Bring to Old Trafford', and similarly themed lists of 'X Players Manchester United Players Mourinho Should Axe'.

The arrival of the former Chelsea boss represents another new era in the red half of Manchester - fans probably didn't think they would have had quite so many fresh dawns in the three short years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired - and a lot of people are clamouring to now see big changes.

After scraping Champions League qualification in his Van Gaal's first season, United could only finish fifth in his second, missing out on Europe's elite club stage. That failure, the other failure to challenge for the title after the money that was spent, will be what most long remember the Dutchman for. The FA Cup triumph - the first in 12 years - barely registers with some.

Most simply refuse to see it, but United needed Van Gaal and he did a good job. An important job.

The free flowing football and the unprecedented dominance that fans the world came to expect as normal under Ferguson wasn't there. But what he did was stabilise and there's no getting away from the fact that was absolutely critical in preparation for the man next to take the reins.

David Moyes may have inherited a team in 2013 that had only a few months earlier won the Premier League at a canter, but it was a flawed squad with ageing players and growing deadwood. When Moyes left after just 10 months very little had been done to fix the severe problems and the group of players Van Gaal inherited was in even worse shape.

What Van Gaal has now left behind is a developing squad with a core in place that is perhaps just three or four carefully selected signings away from being a genuine challenger for top honours again. It just doesn't need the masses of work people are expecting and hoping for, it's nearly there, and the worst thing Mourinho could do would be to tear everything up and start from scratch all over again.

In April, United midfielder Ander Herrera commented that the club is "cooking a fantastic team". Two months earlier in February, this writer similarly described the current United side as an "unbaked cake" that still needs a little longer in the oven. That is still very much the case.

The foundations for future success under new management are already in place for Mourinho to take things on without changing too much and rendering the last two years entirely pointless. Hypothetically, even if the club were to do nothing this summer, a fresh coaching perspective alone should still see an improvement with the same players.

United already have the best goalkeeper in the world in David de Gea, with England's best centre-back of the last 12 months in Chris Smalling in front of him. People still insist on calling Daley Blind a 'makeshift' centre-back, but the Dutchman has proven his critics wrong time after time.

United are equally strong in the two full-back positions, with a more settled Matteo Darmian, one of the standout defenders at the last World Cup, expected to be better next season, while Luke Shaw will return to action at long last following a broken leg.

Young trio Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial offer plenty of excitement and energy in attacking areas and are largely responsible for United's FA Cup triumph. Backed up by a rejuvenated Wayne Rooney that looks as though he has found his new calling in a deeper role, they will only keep getting better and better.

Even Marouane Fellaini could have a good future under Mourinho, who has a history of success with physically imposing players, while Morgan Schneiderlin is still a work in progress that offers plenty of potential in the same kind of role Nemanja Matic filled in Mourinho's title winning team at Chelsea.

A new centre-back to replace the perennially unfit and unreliable Phil Jones, a new box-to-box midfielder in the mould of Paul Pogba or similar, a new striker, most likely Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and a new winger if he can't find a way to rescue Memphis Depay, is all that Mourinho really needs to add.

Claudio Ranieri enjoyed brilliant success at Leicester in 2015/16 because he recognised the start of a good thing and allowed it to keep growing. Mourinho could learn a lot from the man he replaced at Chelsea all those years ago because the job at Old Trafford is already more than half done for him.

Maybe a few years down the line, Louis van Gaal might get the credit he deserves.

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