Gary Neville has insisted that Jose Mourinho deserves the full financial support of the club in order to mount a title challenge over the next two years.
The 55-year-old hit out at the club’s board in December for a lack of ambition in the transfer market and they responded by signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal over the January window.
Mourinho was handed a contract extension in late January and the club’s hierarchy, according to reports, have scrapped plans to extend Old Trafford’s capacity to 88,000 in favour of giving the Portuguese greater financial backing in the summer.
And Neville, speaking earlier this week, made it clear that Mourinho deserves all the financial resources he can get to build a title-winning team.
“The idea of sitting here as a pundit and ex-professional and saying “I think he should be the next manager” [doesn’t interest me],” he said.
“I do have an opinion on my own club, but I’m not willing to share it with you because I want Jose Mourinho to continue. ‘I have a very clear idea of who I think the next Manchester United manager should be, but I want Jose Mourinho to be successful first before that happens.
“I believe he will be successful because he’s always been successful wherever he goes. However, I believed that David Moyes and Louis van Gaal would be successful, because I am a fan of the club and I have to believe in the club’s managers as a fan.
“You sometimes lose that faith over a period of time watching them, but on the other hand, from a point of view of Jose, he’s been supported with a new contract and he’s been supported with investment in the transfer market.
“Now the club need to now go the whole hog and make sure they support him in the future, for the next year or two, to be able to win that league.”
The worst thing this club could do is enforce more change, to bring us all back to ground zero: new manager, new ideas, new players, but ultimately the same problems on the pitch. Because what has defined the post-Fergie era more than anything is not the results per se, nor even the performances, but rather the lack of identity – the notion that, for all the money spent, no real fusion seems to occur.
And while Mourinho is far from the perfect manager, he has at least started to militate against this problem by bringing his unmistakable managerial style – pragmatism and ruthlessness going forward – to the team, turning them into a physical force with a solid defensive base.
But you sense he is still a few signings away from the team he wants, and the board has a duty to give him the tools he needs to bring United back to the peak.