EXCLUSIVE FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK
JOSE MOURINHO has the X-Factor to help Manchester United regain their oomph.
That’s the view of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard whose love affair with the Special One has never died following their glory days together which saw the Portuguese rule the Premier League.
Lamps has been keeping tabs on all the action back home while in the Big Apple and watched Louis van Gaal’s United project disintegrate before his very eyes on the box.
He knew there really was only one man to fix the mess left by the Dutchman.
The former England ace told SunSport: “ Jose will have a massive effect at United . He is a man of effect.
“He knows how to get a team winning but putting his own imprint on them, his personality reflects his teams and Man United, looking from afar , needed that.
“They had a lot of quality in their squad but didn’t have much oomph. He has a base there but will bring in players. He will galvanise players.
“Jose gives them the X Factor. He did that at Chelsea, I know it didn’t end perfectly there but I can see him succeeding at United.
“Next year will be as competitive as it has been for a while , a lot of teams have something to prove but he is a top manager and a team like United need a top manager.
“I think it’s brilliant for the Premier League that Jose is back. I had a great experience with him especially during the first time he came to Chelsea because he really helped me take my career onto the next level.
“I know what he brings to English football and I’m not a Man United fan but I don’t think anyone can say they aren’t licking their lips at the prospect of Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp , Conte and Wenger going up against each other.”
Red Devils legend Eric Cantona wasted no time in sticking the boot into Mourinho last week after insisting his brand of football will go down like a lead balloon at Old Trafford.
Unsurprisingly , Lamps totally and utterly disagrees – and the stats back him up.
In Mourinho’s first season at Stamford Bridge not only did Chelsea win their first title for 50 years with a record points tally of 95, they also smacked in 72 goals .
Arsenal were the sharpest shooters with 87 yet the Blues were still streets ahead of United who could only muster 58.
The following season saw more of the same as the title was retained and the same number of goals were scored.
United matched them with 72 of their own yet for the second campaign on the spin, Mourinho’s backline was the meanest with just 22 conceded to follow on from a mere 15 in his debut glory charge.
There was action aplenty – so no wonder Lamps reckons King Eric is talking rubbish.
He added:” I disagree with that (Cantona’s comments).
“The first year he came to the Premier League we won it at a canter , beating teams 3-0, 4-0 , Robben and Duff flying down the wings . We were fantastic but were accused of being boring. That was only because we won most weeks.
“He is a man who knows how to get a win and sometimes that isn’t always with fluent football.
“I don’t think United played great football last year from watching them. He will bring an energy to the team , will be effective and win games.
“Fans want to win, of course they want great style, you can talk all day about style and everyone wants beautiful football but winning is what it’s all about and Mourinho has a history of winning things.
“Look at Arsenal. Everyone says they’re great on the ball yet they’ve not won anything because they haven’t got the grit to grind games out.
“To be a complete team and be successful over a period of time you have to be able to do both sides of the game. Defend , first and foremost, be organized and battle. And then play good football and score goals. That is a complete team.
“For me, I have known Jose Mourinho close up , he wants his team to be complete . He doesn’t tell his players to be negative , he just wants to win games.
“Sometimes there isn’t always one way to win a game.”
Mourinho is already plotting his summer transfer raids with the likes of PSG superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his radar.
The Portuguese , however, will find the squad he’s inherited isn’t too shabby either.
Lampard said:”He has good players , and people like Wayne Rooney will respond to him because he understands them.
“He’s worked with so many top players he knows exactly how to get the best out of them. I am sure he will add to the squad, I have seen stuff that he wants to make it his own team which is understandable.
“Jose has been at some of the biggest clubs in the world. Look away from what he did at Chelsea – Inter Milan , Real Madrid. He is used to going into clubs, bringing his people in and putting his ethics into a team.
“He will be loving it . He doesn’t like being out of football for long so he will be champing at the bit.”