5 things Manchester United are doing better under Jose Mourinho
It was not too long ago that Sir Alex Ferguson led a team that blew their competition to bits, snuffed out their hopes and raced to the Premier League title with an 11 point advantage. But for United fans, that might feel like a lifetime ago.
They can't really be blamed. The post-Fergie plunge the club took saw them descend down the depths of mediocrity. Initially, it was down to David Moyes and his regrettable stint at Old Trafford. That was followed by the stubborn and old-fangled Louis van Gaal.
Manchester United, who were known for their ruthless pace and precision in attack, were suddenly toothless and sterile.
However, rebuilding is no easy task and United seem to finally have found the man who will guide them back to the good old days of gold in Jose Mourinho.
So let's get down to business and look at the 5 things that Manchester United are doing better under the Special One.
#5 Better transfer business
Manchester United have always had the clout to bring in some of the best talents in Europe. A lot of the credit goes to the absolute masterclass that Fergie was at United. Players dreamt of training under his tutelage.
But as soon as he left, United's struggles in the transfer market started. David Moyes could only bring in Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata. Fellaini was much maligned at Manchester United before Jose Mourinho started getting the best out of him on a regular basis. Though Juan Mata was quite a steal (especially in the winter transfer window), the transfer materialised as he wasn't part of Chelsea's plans for that season.
Louis van Gaal came in and given his pedigree, a host of players expressed their interest in playing for United. Subsequently, he bought Di Maria, who was at the peak of his powers in his first transfer window in charge. Di Maria wasn't the type of player LvG usually deploys on the flanks and this culminated in a lot of confusion. The Argentine left after his first season at United.
LvG also brought in Daley Blind, Memphis Depay, Ander Herrera, Falcao, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw, Rojo, Darmian, Victor Valdes, Sergio Romero and Anthony Martial. While the incoming list looked impressive, only half of these players went on to make an impact with the Red Devils. But it's the outgoing list that was dastardly.
LvG was ready to slash anybody who he deemed not up to par on limited knowledge and this resulted in players like Chicharito, Darren Fletcher, Patrice Evra, Wilfried Zaha, Welbeck, Nani, van Persie, Di Maria all moving for ridiculously low amounts. It was not just about the amount of money they received in return but it was also the fact that he dropped the guillotine on a lot of quality.
But under Mourinho, United have made calculated moves in the market. Almost all his signings have impressed immensely and contributed to the team's revival. The Portuguese tactician brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly in his first transfer window in charge. In the subsequent one, he bought Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof.
United have also got better at negotiating sales as well and have now started offloading players only for a worthy sum. On top of that, Mourinho was careful enough to only sell fringe players and made sure he kept the team largely unperturbed with all the transfer business.