A lot of criticism has been levelled at Manchester United this season with manager Jose Mourinho taking the brunt of it.
The Portuguese chief is constantly being asked by the media whether he is up to the job, especially in the wake of the one too many disappointing performances seen so far this campaign. While Mourinho is undoubtedly one of the top managers in football is he the right man for the job at Old Trafford?
It’s been a disappointing season in many respects for Manchester United so far. They crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Championship side Bristol City and just this week were beaten by Seville at Old Trafford in the second leg of the Champions League which saw them exit after the first knockout stage. While some hope has been restored after United beat Brighton 2-0 to make it through to the FA Cup semi-finals does this just mask what has been a poor campaign?
What hasn’t helped Mourinho is Pep Guardiola and Manchester City absolutely flying on the other side of the city. They look to have the Premier League title in the bag already and are going great guns in Europe too. Guardiola has got City playing some lovely football and has improved a lot of the players in his squad. The same can’t be said about Jose Mourinho and Manchester United though.
United are second in the league as things stand and that will be seen as a decent season by many fans, especially in light of the amount of money that Guardiola has had to work with. The reality is though that Mourinho himself has spent fortunes and so far, his side have really failed to become a major force as expected.
One criticism that many people have levelled at Mourinho this season is the fact that even though he has an enormous wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, he’s set his side up to play very defensively. United boast riches when it comes to attacking power, they have the likes of Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Sanchez but the game against Liverpool at Anfield and the game last week against Seville show that Mourinho is often airing on the side of caution.
There’s no denying that Jose Mourinho is still one of the best managers around. He’s won things at every club he’s been at and the success has often come due to him being a pragmatic manager. He knows what is required to win games and how to set his side up to produce on the pitch. We’re just not seeing that as often as we should from his team this term.
After the Brighton game, even though United had won the game and made it to the semi-finals, Mourinho criticised his side for not following his instructions on the pitch. Maybe the real issue could be with the players or the fact that they’re not able to carry out what Mourinho is asking of them or they simply may not buy into his ethos.