MANCHESTER UNITED IN DISARRAY?
You know those old school movies where the good guy gets to see his loved ones killed by the bad
guy, then goes on to train and then seeks the bad guy to exact revenge? We saw those kinds of
movies hundreds of times. We knew the storylines but we still went to see the movies regardless.
Well, this is kind of what we are currently watching in Manchester United.
We could sense it when Mourinho kept complaining about lack of signings to compete with
Manchester City for the English Premier League. Manchester United made three signings- Fred from
Shaktar Donetsk for 59 million Euros, Diogo Dalot from Porto for 22 million Euros and Lee Grant
from Stock City for 2 million Euros, totalling 83 million Euros.
Then there was the issue with Martial not returning to pre-season on time after the birth of his baby.
Then came the first game of the season against Leicester, a game in which Manchester United did
not play very convincingly despite winning 2-1. The stand-out player was Luke Shaw, a player that
was particularly singled out and ridiculed times without number by his coach.
Then against Brighton and Hove Albion, they were so terrible that the score-line was a bit flattering
to them and the midfield and central defence was practically non-existent as Eric Bailly and Victor
Lindelof were singled out for most of the blame. Since then, we have barely seen Eric Bailly, who is
practically the best defender for Manchester United.
Against Tottenham Hotspur, they played one of their best games (in the first half only) and still got
flogged by 3-0 by a Tottenham side who were not at their best at the time as well.
After that, Manchester United picked up some steam, defeating Burnley, Watford and Young Boys,
all away from home.
After the Wolves game, a game in which they drew and were so dreadful at home, Pogba, then
assistant captain, made a statement saying that Manchester United should be more attack minded,
especially at home. Shortly afterwards, he was stripped of vice-captaincy when a video emerged of
him having a verbal discussion with Mourinho on the training ground. At that point, we knew that
there was no going back for Pogba and Mourinho. Since that incident unfortunately, Manchester
United has failed to win against Derby in the Carabao cup (a game in which Mourinho said that he
knew his team was in trouble when Phil Jones and Eric Bailly were due to take penalties) at home
and lost to West Ham this weekend. There are also rumours that he had a public spat with Alexis
Sanchez, and then omitted him from the 18-man squad that faced West Ham United. Bear in mind
that Alexis Sanchez is their highest paid player and has scored only three goals in over 800 minutes
after signing in January.
It is not just the results that are a cause for concern, it is the way they play. A Mourinho-managed
side has never been this shambolic at the back, leaking goals on a very frequent basis.
Also, the fact that their goalkeeper, David De Gea has won their Player of the Year Award four times
in the last five years says a lot about their defensive set up.
Mourinho always wants his team to buy into his “us versus them” mentality and that has not really
worked since he left Inter Milan eight years ago.
The writing is already on the wall. Go ahead and ask Real Madrid and Chelsea supporters. Once
things go south for a Jose Mourinho team, he has shown himself to not have the capacity to turn
Posted by: Abiodun Motunrayo
Email: [email protected]