3 strategies Jose Mourinho can borrow from Sir Alex Ferguson to turn around Manchester United's fortunes
Manchester United are probably undergoing one of their worst spells in modern football. The team remains a 'big' club only by history and financial muscle; this season, the Red Devils have delivered awful performances and left fans with a lot to ponder.
One of the fundamental reasons why United have struggled is the manager. Portugal's Jose Mourinho is a tactician filled with pride and a huge ego. And while that may have earned him respect and titles in major European leagues, it has played a negative role in the current United setup.
Granted, Mourinho is a great manager with an unquestionable reputation in world football. But what United need right now is results, and a good brand of football that is synonymous with those results.
Mourinho has refused to evolve his preferred style of play, and United have paid the price even against relatively 'small' teams. This was perfectly voiced by veteran West Ham right back Pablo Zabaleta.
In the aftermath of the Hammers' 3-1 win over United this season, Zabaleta expressed his surprise at Manchester's overly defensive approach. He expected Anthony Martial to cause problems, but the French star kept tracking back.
Sir Alex Ferguson, United's most successful coach, had set some admirable strategies and installed certain cultures in the team that helped them fight off all kinds of adversities. Mourinho could take a few cues from Ferguson's methods in order to turn the situation around.
Here is a look at three such aspects from the Ferguson era:
#3 Player management
Ferguson was a mentor and a father figure to a lot of his players. He would know about their personal lives and ensure that they always focused 100% on the game, free of any distractions.
This maintained discipline in the team, and no player would ever become bigger than the club. Going this extra mile ensured that the manager had the respect of his players and that he maintained unity among them.
Mourinho on the other hand has used strong arming tactics that have destabilized the team.
It is no secret that players would fight for Ferguson during matches. It was a common thing to see United fight to the end from losing positions. The players knew how important winning was to the fans, themselves and the manager.
Mourinho should take a leaf out of Ferguson's book in order to improve cohesion in the team.