Jose Mourinho's to-do list at Manchester United
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 06/07/16 12:08am
As the Jose Mourinho era gets underway at Manchester United, we pick out six key areas for the Portuguese to address as he steps into the Old Trafford hot-seat...
Unite club behind him
You would be forgiven for thinking a man with Mourinho's proven track record could waltz through the doors at Carrington and get straight down to business - after all, the self-proclaimed 'Special One' has never been short of confidence.
But United legend Sir Bobby Charlton voiced his concern at Mourinho's suitability for the role back in 2012 and the Portugese's arrival has spelled the end of Ryan Giggs' 29-year association with the club, severing a long-standing player-coach relationship.
Charlton has since welcomed him to Carrington but Mourinho will be keen to snuff out any lingering doubts over his appointments and unite the club at all levels.
But it is for that precise reason why United have turned to Mourinho. Never one to shy away from the big decisions, he appears to have wasted little time in tackling the rebuilding job at United.
Revamp squad wisely
Mourinho has been tasked with addressing United's frivolous recent transfer policy, one that saw the club spend a quarter of a billion pounds on player recruitment during the Louis van Gaal era.
Mourinho is greeted by a squad packed with recently recruited players who have failed to meet expectations. He must decide on which under-performing players to persist with and also invest in the right reinforcements.
United will be keen for Mourinho to rekindle his knack of getting the most for players deemed surplus to requirements, as seen by the sales of Juan Mata and David Luiz at Chelsea.
His ability to operate in the transfer market will have been key to United's decision to appoint him as manager, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's arrival an example of his pulling power, despite the club not being able to offer Champions League football.
It may be early days but, with Paul Pogba linked with an Old Trafford return, Mourinho can prove his worth should he complete another high-profile deal.
Amid the gloom of Van Gaal's final season in charge, there were considerable bright spots from the club's academy. Marcus Rashford's extraordinary breakthrough was a particular cause for celebration, while Jesse Lingard, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson also impressed.
Mourinho's critics accuse him of having a poor record of nurturing young players, but the club of the 'Busby Babes' and the 'Class of '92' pride themselves on youth development, and the new manager will be expected to continue the work started by Van Gaal at the same time as delivering success.
Mourinho can point to his faith in Kurt Zouma and Raphael Varane as teenagers at Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively in his defence, but how he approaches the situation at United will test his credentials.
Bring the arrogance back to Old Trafford
We are forever being told the Old Trafford fear factor synonymous with the heady days of the Sir Alex Ferguson era is a thing of the past. Gone are the days when teams would be overawed by walking out at the Theatre of Dreams and lose games before a ball had even been kicked.
The passive managerial style of David Moyes, followed by an overly defensive Van Gaal, did little to re-install the healthy arrogance United used to thrive on, leading the club to move swiftly to address the issue both on and off the pitch.
A man with two Champions League and eight domestic league titles to his name now sits in the dug-out, while Ibrahimovic's arrival injects arrogance in abundance on the field.
It took Mourinho 78 games to taste his first home league defeat at Chelsea, now it is over to him to see if he can replicate the Stamford Bridge surety at Old Trafford.
Deal with the 'noisy neighbours'
United-City relations are fraught at the best of times and that delicate relationship between Manchester's biggest clubs is set for arguably its greatest test when Mourinho locks horns with old adversary, City boss Pep Guardiola.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach wasted no time in firing the first shot at United, highlighting the club's failure to qualify for this season's Champions League at his official unveiling on Sunday.
Mourinho, as we've seen, needs no invitation to indulge in confrontation, particularly with a man with whom he has such a chequered past.
Just exactly how Mourinho looks to address the threat posed by City remains to be seen but, with a Manchester derby pencilled in five games into season, the Premier League is guaranteed some early action.
We are not in the Champions League, we have to be clear. That situation is now in this moment better than Manchester United's, though.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola
What to do with Rooney?
Few, if any, can rival Wayne Rooney in terms of experience. With 12 years at the Theatre of Dreams under his belt, United's current longest-serving player sits second on the club's all-time goalscoring charts. Yet, despite this, the Manchester United captain's future looks one riddled with uncertainty.
An encouraging yet unsuccessful deployment in midfield during England's ill-fated Euro 2016 campaign will have given Mourinho little indication how to get the best out of Rooney. And, with the likes of Rashford, Anthony Martial and new arrival Ibrahimovic providing fierce competition for positions, Mourinho may be forced to take a similar stance with Rooney as he did with John Terry, dropping him if he fails to perform.
Of course, it's not only Rooney whose role at Old Trafford will come under scrutiny. Chelsea's two-time Player of the Year, Mata, was ushered out of the club during Mourinho's second stint. Whether the Spaniard finds himself in Mourinho's plans this time around remains to be seen.
'Rooney is England's best'
Jose Mourinho hailed Wayne Rooney as 'England's best' ahead of his testimonial
Watch Jose Mourinho's first news conference as Manchester United manager live on Sky Sports News HQ from 11am on Tuesday. Skysports.com and Sky Sports' mobile and iPad apps will also be streaming the news conference, and you can also follow with our live blog.