Jose Mourinho has told everyone associated with Manchester United to forget the three-year period under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal as he looks to replicate the triumphant history that made the club a “giant”.
Months of speculation came to a head this week as Van Gaal’s turbulent two-year reign was brought to an end, just days after winning the FA Cup.
Wembley glory was unable to mask poor Premier League performances in terms of style and substance, with United quickly following up their long-reported interest in the Portuguese.
Talks started on Tuesday but it took until Friday for the terms of the contract to be ironed out and United to announce the former Chelsea manager on a three-year deal, with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020.
“I feel great,” Mourinho told the club’s in-house television station MUTV.
“Well, I think I am in the right moment in my career because Man United is one of these clubs where you need really to be prepared for it because it is what I used to call a giant club.
“And giant clubs must be for the best managers and I think I am ready for it, so I could say I am happy, I am proud, I am honoured, I am everything.”
Mourinho’s excitement to be taking over a club with a “mystique and a romance” is clear, as is his desire to revive United’s ailing fortunes.
Turgid, prosaic football led to the club’s worst scoring return in the league for 26 years and saw Van Gaal’s side miss out on Champions League qualification to neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.
United have failed to make European football’s top table in two of the three seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired - a period of dissatisfaction Mourinho wants to forget.
“I think we can look at our club now in two perspectives,” he said. “One perspective is the past three years and another perspective is the club history.
“I think I prefer to forget the past three years, I prefer to focus on the giant club I have in my hands now. I think what the fans are expecting me to say is that I want to win.
“So, yes, I want to focus on the history of this giant club and give what I have and what I don’t have, so I will give absolutely everything to try and go in the direction we all want.”