Man Utd trust in Mourinho's second-season recipe
After qualified success in his maiden campaign as Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho will hope to dust off his tried and tested second-season formula in 2017-18.
Mourinho led United to victory in the League Cup and Europa League last season, the latter yielding a place in the Champions League, but their football was drab and they finished a distant sixth in the league.
Having won the league in his second season in his last five jobs -- Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter Milan and Real Madrid -- he will be expected to mount a strong title challenge at the very least.
"Can we win it? We can, but maybe we won't," Mourinho told ESPN in a recent interview.
"Everything is good and strong, but some of them (other clubs) are really strong in the market, so it is going to be difficult.
"Normally the second season should be better than the first because you know the club, you know the players. The players, they know you.
"The club know you can affect in a positive way the structure, you can affect in a positive way the people that work around you.
"But this is modern football. It's getting much harder for everyone, so we don't know."
United's signings have been thoroughly in keeping with Mourinho's pragmatic approach to the game, the Portuguese having galvanised his squad with extra height and muscle.
Centre-back Victor Lindelof, midfielder Nemanja Matic and striker Romelu Lukaku are all over six feet (183cm) tall, giving United the second-tallest squad in the division behind Tony Pulis's West Bromwich Albion.
Lukaku faces the greatest scrutiny, having been brought in to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the charismatic Swede was released in the wake of the serious knee injury he suffered last season.
Lukaku, 24, has scored 87 goals for Everton over the past four seasons, statistics that moved United to sanction a Pound 75 million (USD 97.9 million, 82.9 million euros) acquisition.