What Mourinho Gets Wrong
Last night’s Champions League win against Young Boys, even though predictable and comfortable, raises a lot of changes due to happen for Manchester United to finally get them back to where they belong — one of the major competitors for each title. No more “We’d be happy with a semi-final” or “top 4” talk. The Manchester United that sir Alex Ferguson built was not built to last only until he retires. He built a name, a team, a religion to last and survive through all the humbles on the way, all the wrong transfers, all the wrong managers to come and go, and despite the recent years’ setbacks, this time is coming. However, the question everyone is asking today is — should we back Mourinho or possibly welcome Zizou instead?
Jose has managed to bring calmness among the players and create a sense of togetherness within the team, but what he fails to do is one of the main things that made Man U — he fails to support the youngsters enough. By bringing Lukaku and Sanchez, he is leaving Rashford in doubt of his future at the club. Marcus Rashford, who joined the United academy at ages 7 and who has scored in absolutely each and every single one of his debuts and has given some of the most heartfelt dedication to this team than most players, is left hanging out uncertain of the game time we’s going to get. Martial, Pogba, Mata (yes, Mata) and Rashford could have led the offence without the necessity to buy two additional expensive forwards, such as Lukaku AND Sanchez. While a world class striker who finishes is still needed, Lukaku despite of the decent amount of goals he scored in season 17/18 is not quite fitting in. Sanchez who, replaced United’s golden boy and much beloved by millions of United’s fans Mkhitaryan, hasn’t proved anything yet, but he doesn’t seem the right fit either.
Some of the other new additions like Fred and Dalot have not impressed yet, but it’s too early to be definite. Instead, Mourinho could pay more attention to the Academy, after all this is the Academy that produced players such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford. While as United’s manager, Jose has already given a taste of what it would be like to play for the first team to some of the youth players like Joshua Bohui, Angel Gomez and the very promising striker Mason Greenwood, it seems like lately we are constantly deeming players as too young. Even Marcus Rashford is somehow considered “too young” to get enough game time, but let’s not forget Wayne Rooney’s professional debut was at the age of 16 and by 17 he was already a world sensation, back in 2003 — when Cristiano Ronaldo was just 16 years old — Manchester paid £12illion to sign him, and who was the star of this year’s World Cup? A 19-year old Mbappe.
All and all, Manchester United is slowly getting there and Mourinho has indeed contributed to the team’s improvement, but there is so much more to be done and do either Jose and Zidane have the long-term commitment stamina? Or are we all just waiting for Ryan Giggs or Michael Carrick to take over?