3 players who have regressed under Mourinho at Manchester United
Manchester United's woes continued on Sunday evening as they fell to a shocking 3-2 defeat at the AMEX Stadium against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Red Devils were once again lethargic with some key players seeming almost uninterested in being on the field.
This has become a common theme under the management of Jose Mourinho. The once great manager who was termed "The Special One" is far from special these days and looks outdated with his style of play and mentality at Old Trafford.
His argumentative press conferences and public outbursts have become alarmingly common with this continuous negativity surely creeping down into the dressing room at Old Trafford.
During his two years at Old Trafford, Mourinho has worked with some exceptional players - Paul Pogba, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to name but a few.
However, it is extremely difficult to find any player who has markedly improved under the Portuguese manager.
Cast a glance across Manchester and it is easy to find players who have added to their game under Pep Guardiola - Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Benjamin Mendy - the list goes on and on.
The stark truth of the matter is that world class players and hugely talented youngsters with massive potential have regressed rather than improved under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.
While there are a number of players who could appear on this list, we have selected three who have most have most noticeably performed at a lower standard when playing for the United manager.
#3 Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene at Old Trafford in February 2016 when he scored a debut brace against Midtjylland in the Europa League round of 32. At just 18 years old, he was a revelation and became the youngest scorer for the Red Devils in a European competition.
He followed his European debut up with another brace in his Premier League debut against Arsenal. He also scored against Manchester City that season, becoming the youngest ever player to score in a Manchester derby.
However, his brief introduction to the United first team came under Louis Van Gaal who was dismissed as manager in the summer of 2016 and replaced by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese arrived with a reputation of ignoring youth and preferring big name, proven players in his starting lineup.
That summer, Mourinho brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and many feared for the playing time that would be given to Rashford. While the young forward played 53 times for United in the 2016/17 season, he completed a full 90 minutes only 15 times.
Another issue that season was where the youngster played when he got some game time. Along with the signing of Ibrahimovic, United had Rooney, Martial, and Depay all fighting for the main striker's position.
Due to this, Rashford was shifted around the front line, playing 24 times on the left wing, five times on the right wing, and 22 times as a center forward. For a young player trying to establish himself in the first team, this continuous changing of positions did not help the youngster's development.
Last season wasn't much better. Rashford played 52 games, but once again only played the full 90 minutes in a fraction of those appearances. He was shunted about throughout the season, playing 20 times as a left winger, five times as a right winger, and 19 times a center forward.
Over the past two seasons, it is clear that Rashford has lost much of the confidence which ensured he began his United career in such style. At just 20 years old, he remains an incredible prospect at the club, however, it is essential that his development is not further hampered by the defensive-mindedness and constant changing of positions implemented by Jose Mourinho.