For much of last season, Mauricio Pochettino was thought to be Manchester United’s manager-elect when Louis van Gaal’s inevitable firing was confirmed.
The way the Tottenham boss has transformed the Lilywhites has not gone unnoticed, but of course, it was Jose Mourinho who eventually succeeded LVG in the dugout.
Pochettino may well be a relieved man having seen how the Portuguese has struggled this season, United losing three league games while Spurs are unbeaten.
However, the former Argentina international insists the self-proclaimed Special One should be given more time, drawing on his own experiences at White Hart Lane.
It’s easy to forget that Pochettino needed a season of transition to put Spurs right after a topsy-turvy year under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
“It’s clear that when you are with a great club, as I am with Tottenham, the pressure to win is always greater,” he told ESPN.
“And there are always voices of criticism when the results are not what everyone anticipates.
“Definitely, whenever one starts a new project, it requires time. In this case, even though Jose is one of the best coaches in the world, he needs more time to put his ideas in place and so that the team can function as he wants them to.
“It is too early to pass judgment regarding things that are happening with the teams just yet.”
Mourinho will no doubt be grateful for the support, but he’ll also be conscious that he does not have all the time in the world to prove himself at the Theatre of Dreams.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, David Moyes was given less than a season, while van Gaal lasted just two years.
Fans are growing increasingly frustrated by the club’s barren spell in the league, especially after a summer of spending.
Part of United’s problem is a lack of confidence, and unless they can put a winning run together, it’s going to be difficult for Mourinho to start turning things around.