Why Manchester United should sack Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has been criticised by many in the media for his pragmatic, defensive style of football. He has been unfavourably compared to Pep Guardiola's free-flowing Manchester City which has been sweeping sides away this season and has still only lost 1 competitive game this season. But is all this criticism justified?
The answer is a resounding yes after the shock defeat by Bristol City in the Carabao Cup, where United had Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku all on the pitch but still couldn't score.
Yes, Bristol City played very well but to lose to them is absolutely disgraceful. It was a performance typical of the Red Devils' season so far: boring, ponderous and lacking a cutting edge.
United dominated against Bristol, struck the woodwork twice, had several great chances but still only scored once.
Pogba was very disappointing, seemingly more interested in arguing with the referee rather than getting on and playing football. Martial was anonymous and Rashford was worse than useless. The only bright spots were Ibrahimovic (who scored on his first start in 8 months) and Luke Shaw.
Of course, the players have to take some blame but the major fault lies with the manager. The style of football the team plays is boring and they never look interested or play well.
The players do not play with any passion or desire/hunger and this is because of the rigid defensive system that Mourinho has them tied to.
It is the sort of system that restricts and drains players, rather than letting them express themselves. Mourinho has some quality young strikers in Rashford, Lukaku, and Martial yet chooses to restrict their attacking prowess.
Tonight's performance is just the latest in a long line of dire showings, including the embarrassing defeats to Huddersfield (2-1) and Basel (1-0) and last week's 1-0 home win over Bournemouth where the team was outplayed at Old Trafford by a side in danger of being relegated.
The fans are growing tired of his constant negativity. They want to blow sides away by playing the United way, not scrape a 1-0 home win against Bournemouth and lose to Bristol City.
Yes, he has improved the team from what they were like under Louis van Gaal and if you take away the shock defeats to Huddersfield, Basel, and Bristol City, his record is good as the team has only lost to giants like Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Man City.
However, under Mourinho and his negative defensive tactics, United will inevitably lose more games. In the recent derby defeat by Manchester City, the team never looked like challenging them and City deserved to win 4-1 or 5-1, not 2-1.
Mourinho's side currently sits 2nd on the Premier League table, 11 points off City. The title is City's and everyone knows it. They play in the style similar to United's under Sir Alex Ferguson; relentlessly attacking and crushing teams.
Mourinho has the players needed to play that way yet maddeningly chooses not to. The time has come for the board to hire a coach with attacking principles, one who will get the side to entertain fans, rather than bore them to death. The new coach will have a quality squad to work with.
Mourinho deserves praise for improving the team from what it was like under Van Gaal. However, his defensive tactics mean he has taken the team as far as he can. There is no way that playing such a defensive-minded style of football will compete with elite teams in world football such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich.
So thank you Jose, but it's time for you to go.