Sheringham Exclusive: Jose is the ideal man to replace Fergie
Published 22:26 03/03/12 By Steve Stammers
Jose Mourinho will be the perfect man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
That is the opinion of former United and Spurs legend Teddy Sheringham, who believes that Mourinho has the qualities that will be needed to take over at Old Trafford.
Mourinho is reported to be unsettled by the internal politics at Real Madrid and has said on more than one occasion how he would love to return to England where he enjoyed so much success with Chelsea.
Sheringham said: “I think that Mourinho would be ideal for United. It is going to be one of the best jobs in football when Sir Alex retires – but also one of the most difficult.
“It will be intimidating to follow a man who has achieved so much. Mourinho is one of the few people who could handle it. There is no doubt in my mind about that.”
Sheringham can also see the attraction of White Hart Lane should the Tottenham job become available. Mourinho was in London last week and immediately linked to a return to Stamford Bridge where his compatriot Andre Villas-Boas is having a torrid time.
Clearly, if Harry Redknapp finds the lure of managing England irresistible this summer, Mourinho would be an immediate and attractive candidate to take over at either club.
“He loves London – he has said that many times,” said Sheringham. “And there is no question that in the last few years, Tottenham have made tremendous strides under Harry Redknapp. It will be a great job for someone – maybe Mourinho. But United are different. Mourinho says he is the Special One and he has proved that no matter where he has been.
“He is a proven winner. And it will need a special individual to take over at Old Trafford when that job eventually comes up. He could handle it, I am sure of that.”
Sheringham spent three years at United under Sir Alex and he knows all about stepping into the shoes of a United legend.
He was the direct replacement for Eric Cantona after the French star retired from football in the summer of 1997. After a barren first season in 1997-98, he played a key role in helping United win a historic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999.
Sheringham was a goalscoring hero in United’s famous fightback and last-gasp win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Barcelona. “United is a huge club,” added Sheringham. “Certainly one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the world. It is certainly up there with Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I went all over the world in football and everywhere there was a fanatical following of Manchester United fans.
“You go to China and anywhere else in Asia and they are crazy for United. That is what the new man will inherit.”
It is that precise inheritance some people might choose to avoid. But just as Sheringham moved from Tottenham to Old Trafford to succeed a legend, so the challenge is set for the next United manager.
“It is daunting,” he admitted. “Especially after the success that Sir Alex has brought to the club. But that would not bother Mourinho.
“He will take it in his stride.
“I understand that he and Sir Alex get on well so, you never know, he might have been given the nod about it.
“For me, he would be the one to take over if he is given the chance.”
*Teddy Sheringham is an ambassador for Help the Heroes. For more information visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk