A sure sign you are doing well is when other big clubs want your players and Jose Mourinho has work to do to turn Manchester United back into the force they were. To be fair, they were only a force because they had one of the best managers the Premier League has seen in Sir Alex Ferguson.
He built several sides, one home grown, others bought, but winning the Premier League with an average side before he retired was an underestimated achievement and one that makes him stand out. People also forget where united were when he took over, they were a mid-table side and he helped rebuild the club to create the environment for success. That didn't happen overnight, the fans were calling for his head before a trophy saw them change their tune.
Other managers, at various clubs, fail to have success when they have money to burn so it isn't as simple as buy the best players, you still have to get them to play together in a system that works. Take David Moyes, the players turned against him so he had no chance of success. He couldn't handle players on high wages, they didn't think he had what it took.
Mourinho is now reported to be targeting Tottenham Hotspur duo Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier. Belgian Alderweireld has yet to sign a new contract and wants parity with the top earners at the club. There is no suggestion he won't sign a new deal and he will be aware of the United interest and the package they are prepared to offer, indeed that may be fueling his wage demands.
Cameron Carter-Vickers will get more opportunity next season but Alderweireld is important to our defence. He and Jan Vertonghen have formed an impressive pairing, although now we have generally switched to a back three which includes the other United wanted player, Eric Dier.
Playing for England he played in his defensive midfield role and it may be there that Mourinho sees him playing. At the moment we have Wanyama there and Dier in a back three, yet he hasn't always impressed at centre-back, at least not in a centre-back pairing, in a three he has less opportunity to make a telling mistake.
Pochettino will have to be mindful of what Dier wants and where he sees himself playing, but at the moment he seems happy wherever he plays. That is all about being happy in the environment and having a feeling for the club as a result.
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