GIVE US JOSE; Ferdinand Reveals Mourinho Is the Man He Wants to Take over from Sir Alex at United; EXCLUSIVE; Jose Fits the Bill for Us, Says Rio

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

GIVE US JOSE; Ferdinand Reveals Mourinho Is the Man He Wants to Take over from Sir Alex at United; EXCLUSIVE; Jose Fits the Bill for Us, Says Rio


Byline: Joe Bernstein

RIO FERDINAND has given the strongest hint yet that Jose Mourinho will be the next manager of Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson retires.

Ferdinand, who wants to captain United today in the Carling Cup final against Tottenham after badgering Sir Alex all week to be included in the Wembley showpiece, cited Mourinho's 'ego' as the reason he could cope with the hottest seat in football at Old Trafford.

The England superstar is the first current United player to talk openly about the succession to Ferguson, who will bid for an unprecedented 41st trophy as a manager today.

Ferdinand's comments put him in direct competition with United legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson, who have both warned against luring Mourinho to Old Trafford. And they come in the middle of a Ferguson-Mourinho clash in the Champions League.

United dominated a goalless first leg against Inter Milan at San Siro on Tuesday, but were unable to deliver the knockout blow.

Ferdinand, who has revealed that Ferguson can still make millionaire players tremble with fear at getting the 'hairdryer' treatment, said the Special One was an obvious choice to be his successor.

'There are very few people who could take over,' said Ferdinand.

'If you're talking about someone with the ego and personality to do it, then Jose Mourinho is the name that jumps out at you.

'The gaffer (Ferguson) is phenomenal.

He is a winner, full stop.

He can still do the hairdryer. I've seen players turn pink and black guys turn white. It's not pretty, it is unbelievable!' Ferdinand's call for Mourinho might bring about some consternation within the corridors of power at Old Trafford. But Robson warned that Mourinho's defensive style at Chelsea may not win him friends at United.

'Manchester United aren't just a club who only want to win things,' said the former United captain.

'The fans demand that success is achieved by playing the Manchester United way. Attacking football is a vital part of the club's heritage.

For me, Jose Mourinho is too cautious in his approach to the game to be manager.' Charlton has also questioned whether he would appreciate United's fine tradition of bringing through young players. 'I would hate for anyone to take this the wrong way but I don't see him (Mourinho) here,' he said. He's got a talent but maybe if he ever came here the philosophy of youth football might never be the same again. …

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