Newcastle display shows fans and players still trust Jose Mourinho
Two goals down at half-time to Newcastle, Old Trafford cheered the team off the pitch. In the second half, out came a fiery Manchester United team, and what happened next almost seemed like a dream to the United faithful.
Coming into the game, speculation surrounded United that Mourinho was going to be sacked no matter what the result was against Newcastle. The Old Trafford faithful, however, had different ideas. From the very first minute to the 95th, the crowd serenaded Jose. They were singing his name at 1-0 down, at 2-0 down, and it continued until United won the game 3-2.
An honest evaluation clearly indicates United have had a below average start to the Premier League season, with defeats against Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham adding to the woes. A positive start to the Champions League stint was marred by a dull 0-0 draw at home.
Alleged shaky relationships with Pogba, Sanchez and Bailly have done no favours to this gritty United team. It may be said that the reason for the uncertainty around the club is due to the media speculations and Mr. Ed Woodward. The media has been reporting rumours with great enthusiasm and a clear agenda against Jose Mourinho is surfacing again. A part of me is happy because the more Jose has to go against, the better he gets. Ed Woodward, on the other hand, has been repeatedly undermining the manager, which can eventually lead to him being sacked instead.
Despite these 'wicked' circumstances, Manchester United were brilliant to watch yesterday. Jose on the touchline drew an uncanny resemblance to the great Sir Alex. At 2-0 down, he looked at Matic and asked him to retrieve the ball and go again.
He knew it was a matter of time before the rout ended. And indeed it did in the 70th minute when Mata slotted one to the left of the keeper from a free kick won by Martial at the edge of the box. Old Trafford roared back to life. 6 minutes later, Martial and Pogba combined to get within shooting range, Martial unleashed a strike worthy of 50 million pounds paid to Monaco, 2-0!
The cameras panned towards Jose; the first thing he did was look to the crowd to his right and animatedly spur them on to push the team. It reminded me of the Champions League night against Real Madrid in 2013, when Nani was sent off for a foul and Sir Alex looked towards the crowd and implored them to be louder. Well, today was no different. There was only one player who could score the winner though, Alexis Sanchez, who pushed Martial off the ball slightly, to score in the 90th minute. 3-2 United.
What a game this was. Martial scoring and running back to get the winner. Alexis celebrating with the Number 7 jersey. A crowd serenading the manager. A last minute winner and a ruthless attack sustained for over 45 minutes. United today turned back the clock. We can all hope to have many more years of the Sir Alex era, but the reality is that United are a new team, have a new manager.
The Premier League and the Championship have teams that can on their day compete with anybody. The TV rights money distributed ensures teams have more money to spend and acquire quality players. Despite these changes, United must not lose what they have built for decades now, stability and trust in the manager.
Jose has a different style of play and that was definitely understood before the hierarchy appointed him. The man has won Premier League titles against Sir Alex and has led a warrior laden Inter Milan to one of two Champions League titles. And he most definitely is a winner.
The fans have stuck with Mourinho and I am sure he was a little emotional when he saw the bright yellow placard which read "United with Jose". He deserves the trust and respect. And I for one believe he should be left alone to coach the team out of this adversity.
I believe Jose will be here to win many more trophies. His personality and character are integral to the club now more than ever. We can have differing opinions on his playing style, but Sir Alex had to improvise too and let's hope Jose does as well. That being said, the respect Old Trafford showed Jose was unbelievable. Long may that continue.