Pat Nevin: Jose Mourinho deserves praise for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s impact

by Leo Nieboer

Former Scotland and Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has lauded Jose Mourinho following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s recent impact at Manchester United.

The Swede claimed two goals to guide Mourinho’s men to a 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final, handing the 54-year-old his first trophy as Man United manager.

Mourinho, speaking after the win over Claude Puel’s side, was quick to acknowledge the fact that Zlatan’s impact won the game for United.

But Nevin has insisted that Mourinho deserves praise for the way he has overseen such a fruitful spell for the 35-year-old since he arrived in July.

“He clearly respects Mourinho. You’ve got someone who has an ego to match his. That is something special. They can either explode and combust or else it’s perfect. So perfect!”

It is worth noting that big personalities, as a general rule, can prove to be more problematic than fruitful in the long term. Zlatan’s relationship with Pep Guardiola, for example, was a tale of strife that ultimately dampened the atmosphere at Barcelona back in 2010 (even if the Swede did still manage 21 goals in his first season).

But Mourinho and Ibrahimovic are clearly on the same page: their approach is primarily hallmarked by the lofty standards they set for themselves on a daily basis, always demanding victory at its most emphatic and everlasting, regardless of context.

And this, above anything, is why Mourinho and Zlatan have formed such an indomitable bond at Old Trafford over the last few months.

You may also like