Football opinion

What Mourinho needs to win to return to winning ways



The atmosphere at Old Trafford this season at the moment is something bordering on threatening our season. After an excellent start to the season, we have failed to win any of our last two matches but is the manner of our dropping points that have befuddled many.

Against Liverpool that were there for the taking, Jose set out to defend and against Huddersfield, United lacked the intensity needed to beat The Terriers, as Tom Ince pointed out after the game. We are now five points behind Manchester City, and United will now do well to come back and revive our season, to keep Manchester City at bay. The absence of Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini has affected us but Jose must not limit his players.

United have averaged just 7 chances in the past two matches and Jose’s pragmatism could come back to haunt us if we don’t fix our rot. The Portuguese has always insisted on having a good defensive balance to win games, but his rival at City, Guardiola is proving to be a hit. After a difficult season, the former Barcelona manager is now setting the pace in the league with a brand of attacking football that has not been seen on these shores.

Jose has flirted with 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 this season but he must find a lotion to fit in his best players. The latter formation adds balance to the team with a midfield trio of Pogba, Hererra and summer signing, Nemanja Matic but Herrera’s form has been nowhere near the form he showed last season.

Mourinho needs to trust the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. The pair have alternated for majority of the season to great effect but both players need to start. Against Huddersfield, Martial was hooked off at half time for the Englishman, but Jose needs their double threat to peg teams on the back foot. Tough games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City come up in the next month and December, which would show how far we have come this season. The impending return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic must also be managed, with the Swede ready to return after a lengthy injury layoff.

We must go back to the style that made us brilliant at the start of the season and the players must also step up to the party. The season is still long but if we keep dropping points where we shouldn’t, we risk the prospect of going further behind City and resurgent Tottenham, who are just behind us on goal difference.

It is a known fact that Jose always wins the league in his second season, and if he wants that record to continue we must work fast to stop the rot. Football doesn’t remember second best.

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