Manchester United’s performance on Monday evening has caused a lot of debate. They went to Anfield and met a team bang in form, and they came away with a point. A good result? Of course.
But where do we draw the line? I remember David Moyes calling Liverpool favourites for a tie between the two clubs during his brief spell in charge – it caused outrage. Yes that game was at Old Trafford, but what made people angry was his negative attitude and belittling of the club, the club that prides itself of being the greatest in the world. Has Mourinho, by setting out his team to get a point, not done exactly the same?
Go back to as recent as last season and you will remember Louis van Gaal – he had a spell where the club were getting the results, they were towards the top of the table (higher than where United are currently) but many of the fans were disgruntled at the poor football on display. They wanted to see great football. What we saw on Monday night was far from great and light years from entertainment. In fact, Manchester United had the lowest possession (34%) in their Premier League history – now that is pretty significant.
Many will fairly suggest that this was a one off game where United needed to avoid defeat due to already being behind their main title rivals. But history suggests this is no one off for Mourinho, and he will continue to play with these tactics when he feels necessary, which is pretty often. You can say United got a good result last night, which they did, but if it wasn’t for two marvellous saves from David de Gea it could’ve so easily been a different outcome. United very rarely looked like scoring, it almost seemed as if they did not want too. Is this what United fans really want? It’s not even about the result, it’s that Mourinho had literally no desire to win that game.
A point was deemed a good result, but with the amount of money the club has spent, surely they should be aiming to win every game, especially with a draw meaning United now sit 5 points behind joint league leaders Manchester City and Arsenal. Mourinho has literally had an unlimited budget to bring in who he wants and so far this team only sit 7th in the league.
There’s a long long way to go, 30 games to be precise. I do wonder though, if United don’t win the league and they play football like this – will the fans manage to find more patience than they did for both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal?
I’m not attacking the club, but I’m genuinely interested – Manchester United fans, are you happy with your club being managed in this way in the long term? If it was an unknown manager doing what Mourinho did on Monday, spending the money that Mourinho has in the summer and you were sat in 7th – would you be happy? It’s early days but surely this management style and level is not sustainable for a club like Manchester United.