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Opinion: Is Jose Mourinho worse than Louis van Gaal?

897   //    05 Oct 2018, 18:25 IST

Manchester United v Valencia - UEFA Champions League Group H
Jose Mourinho- time up?

Every football ground across Europe produced goals on Tuesday in the Champions League except Old Trafford. Every team across Europe scored goals on Tuesday in the Champions League except Manchester United. The venerable Paris Saint-Germain even went as far ahead as to put six across FK Crvena Zvezda. Even Roma scored five against Pizeh.

That Manchester United could not score a single goal was down to the ineffective and useless brand of possession football preached by their manager Jose Mourinho. He started with two holding midfielders against the fourteenth-placed side in La Liga and brought struggling winger Alexis Sanchez back into the fold. What is Mourinho so afraid of? Does he not trust his central defenders to hold a Chelsea outcast and second-rate Spanish forward at home? Does he not have enough faith upon Romelu Lukaku and his attacking line to burst through?

Or does he want to believe and make the fans believe that Manchester United are not capable of playing attacking football? If that was his motive, then Jose Mourinho has certainly succeeded. He put every Manchester United fan to sleep after the match against Valencia and this is only going to continue if he stays at the club.

Manchester United were very poor on Tuesday night and certainly got what they deserved. Mourinho made another tactical error in bringing ageing right-back Antonio Valencia back when he could have so easily given Diogo Dalot another game. Dalot is fast on the wings and can be seen given excellent crosses. His surgical and pin-point assist to Marouane Fellaini actually led Manchester United to come back with an equaliser in the ill-fated Carabao Cup tie against the Frank Lampard-managed Derby County.

The players look like they do not value the crest on their shirt and that they are simply going through the motions. They do not trust Mourinho anymore and have begun to play like puppets in poor motion.

The situation at Manchester United has gone so out of hand that the former English champions, once dubbed as the 'biggest club in the world', play out goalless draws at home against bottom tiered Spanish teams these days. Jose Mourinho has managed to undo all the good work he put in over the summer. Poor team selection, questionable tactics and contentious strategies have all played their part in taking Manchester United towards the edge of the abyss.

Drawing to Wolves at home, losing to Derby County in the Carabao Cup, losing to West Ham away and playing out a goalless draw against Valencia at home in the Champions League- what a week and a half Jose Mourinho has had.

Manchester United fans no longer believe in Jose Mourinho and neither do the players. He has quite clearly lost the dressing room and even though his tactics have won him title after title in year after year, they are not working anymore. Mourinho is walking on thin ice after having reduced Manchester United to a worse state than what Louis van Gaal had done. Football writer Liam Canning went as far as to say that the current brand of football propagated by Jose Mourinho is worse than what was preached by van Gaal.

Van Gaal had nullified Manchester United's wings and that has continued under Mourinho. If the Portuguese was brought in to solidify United's defence and imbibe in them a winning mentality, then he has failed.


Time is running out for Jose Mourinho and he must mend his ways quickly or face the exit door at his tenure in Manchester United.

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A cricketer by profession and writer by passion, Mohul writes about cricket, football and tennis.
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