Why Mourinho and Manchester United need each other
The Manchester Derby has come and gone. The derby might be an old one, but the importance of the rivalry began only after the injection of money from the Middle-East in 2008. Before that, it was a fairly one-sided contest.
It was only called a derby because of the clubs sharing the same city. But to be fair, the derby has become one-sided again. Before 2008, it was Manchester United who took home the bragging rights. Now, it is the blue half of Manchester.
The Red Devils have lost their horns
But the Manchester United fans are not complaining. Their team went down 3-1, and everyone expected it. Accepted it. It was a defeat, but in no way embarrassing. If anyone thought there would be a comeback synonymous with the one against Juve, they were to be disappointed.
Curious though, is the lack of calls for Mourinho to resign or be sacked. Almost a month ago, there was speculation that Mourinho may not survive the season. But here he is, still in the Manchester Utd hot seat, and it seems he may not be leaving anytime soon.
Manchester United's glory days are over. Gone are the days when opposition teams used to come to Old Trafford fearing the worst. Smaller teams would just want to get their match done with as soon as possible and leave with whatever pride there was left. The Premier League trophy always found the cabinet in Old Trafford.
Manchester United were truly a giant and a powerhouse. But now all that remains is the name and the past glory. Smaller teams come here with a confidence that they could hold on to a point. Or better win all three points. Old Trafford has lost its fear factor.
Manchester Utd of old used to attract players like street lights attracting moths. Players used to grow up dreaming of wearing the famous red jersey. The club has also produced many greats of football in its past. The Manchester Utd of now also attracts players. But now it is because of the fat paychecks and endorsement deals that come along with the transfer.
The transfer of Alexis Sanchez is a prime example of the club using the power of money to lure the player in. Manchester United really did not need the player as the position was already filled in by two promising players. Now, the Premier League's highest paid player occupies the bench, while those two promising talents start.
The Special One is the Normal One
Similar to the club he managing now, Jose Mourinho is also a forgotten one. The self-proclaimed "The Special One", is now fighting for his job and reputation. The press takes every opportunity to entice a reaction from the Portuguese and usually gets their way.
There was no provocation after the Manchester Derby from Mourinho, no raised three-fingers. Instead, it was the City fans who were raising three fingers after their team scored three past De Gea. While Mourinho's position right now as the manager is not under threat like it was a month back, many still doubt whether he is the right man forward.
Truth be told, Mourinho is the right man forward for Man Utd. He will not deliver the Premier League title this season, or the next. Unless Pep Guardiola leaves City and Klopp's Liverpool revolution is somehow stopped, the Premier League trophy will not see the halls of Old Trafford anytime soon. But it should not be the reason to ask for Mourinho's resignation letter.
Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left, the Red Devils have been in turmoil. They have gone through two managers already in the last five years after having one for 26 years. That shows the lack of stability in the club.
While David Moyes only lasted a few months, Vaan Gaal was unceremoniously sacked soon after winning the FA Cup. The fans have repeatedly protested against both manager and board, demanding a better footballing spectacle and a return to the old glory days.
When the board brought in Mourinho, many thought that he will instigate the comeback. Man Utd also went and paid a then-record transfer fee for former youth product Paul Pogba and also brought in veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Together the three were the face of the new Man Utd.
The 2016-2017 season started strongly for the Red Devils, but the hopes of bringing the title to Old Trafford evaporated quickly. Man Utd finished a dismal 6th in the league. While things have improved since then, a comeback is still far from sight.
Mourinho's defensive set up has caused ire among fans and players alike. However, he has always set up his team in such a way. His teams at Chelsea and Inter were the best defensive sides in their respective leagues. But his Man Utd defense is leaky and there are also no goals up front to counteract either.
For the moment, Manchester United fans need to be patient. A quick return to the glory days is unlikely at the moment. And it is not Mourinho's fault. His two predecessors also struggled so the Portuguese cannot be the only one to blame.
The board and players have also been questioned about their commitment to take the club forward. There is a lack of direction at Old Trafford at the moment, and only stability can bring some respite. Keeping Mourinho is the first step.
The Perfect Couple
Mourinho's men have shown some fighting spirit the last few weeks, and that is exactly what the club needs at the moment. A season without endless speculation and drama will help stabilize the club.
Both Manchester United and Mourinho are fallen giants. And both of them need each other to help return to their glory days. In short, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho are made for each other.