Exclusive: Mourinho targets 15-year stay at Manchester United
LOS ANGELES -- In an exclusive interview at Manchester United's UCLA training base, Jose Mourinho has told ESPN FC that he wants to stay at the club for 15 years and restore the stability of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign as manager at Old Trafford.
Mourinho goes into his second season as manager with the same line-up of rivals in the Premier League following no managerial changes at any of last season's top seven teams, but the 54-year-old says that he wants to be the manager who ends United's post-Ferguson instability by delivering success over a long-term period.
"I am ready for this," Mourinho said. "I am ready for the next 15, I would say. Here? Yes, why not? I have to admit that it is very difficult because of the pressure around our jobs, everybody putting pressure on managers and things that people say -- that we have to win, but in reality only one can win and every year it is getting more difficult.
"But what I try to do in the club is show that my work goes further than the football results, that it goes to areas that people don't think of as a manager's job. In my vision, my job is much more than what I do on the pitch and the results that my team gets at the weekend.
"This club, for so many years, was Sir Alex," Mourinho continued. "People got used to it; people understood the great consequences of that stability. After David [Moyes] and Mr. [Louis] Van Gaal, I come to my second year and hopefully I can stay and give that stability that the club wants. I will try, but again, I will have to try to deserve that, but that's what I try every day that I work."
But despite delivering the EFL Cup and Europa League during his first season in charge at United, Mourinho believes that his experience during his second spell at Chelsea, when he was sacked less than six months after winning the 2015-16 Premier League title, highlights the near-impossibility of remaining in a job on a long-term basis.
"You have huge success in one year, the next year you don't have success and you are out," he said. "It happened to me at Chelsea, it happened to [Claudio] Ranieri at Leicester, it will happen to many others. Nowadays, people look much more on the short-term."
Mourinho, whose side face Manchester City in Houston on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN) cited Ferguson's career as unusual in the modern game.
"I think Sir Alex's career is unique," he said. "I don't think it is possible to emulate. Nobody is going to be in the same club for so many years, be in the same league for so many years. I think [Arsene] Wenger will be the last with a similar story in terms of staying at a club for so many years, but I what I try to do in modern football nowadays is to try to deserve to stay in the club, because in this moment, it is about success. You have success, you stay in the club. You don't have success, you don't stay."
Mourinho admits he is not surprised to being taking on the same managers as last season, with Wenger, Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman all still in their jobs this summer.
"Where are these clubs going to get better managers than us?" Mourinho said. "It is not easy, with respect to others. There are other managers with quality, but where can you get more experience, curriculum, know-how of how to make the club better?"
"It is normal that we all stay and I think it is important especially for the stability of the teams," the United manager continued. "I think it is important that managers stay for more than a season."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_