Why Manchester United fans must accept Jose Mourinho is the best they can get
Jose Mourinho has been criticised for his pragmatic approach towards the game. But he is the best United can get.
Manchester United fans crave for the club to play eye-catching football and get good results. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United dominated the pitch for 90 minutes. But, one thing which was guaranteed was the attacking football. Regardless of whether behind or drawing, United always played on the front-foot.
That's the reason why they managed so many late goals. Following the legendary Scot's retirement, the most recent couple of years have been dreadful for the supporters. Since Sir Alex's last season, United have not won the Premier league while Man City are on the verge of winning their second. Under Jose Mourinho, fans anticipate that the club will improve the situation. He has been upheld unequivocally by everybody related to the club. He has already gathered unconditional love from the Old Trafford faithful during his 18-month stay in Manchester.
United's standout performer for the past four years has been their goalkeeper David de Gea. A player whom you can rely on any minute of the game irrespective of whether it is a set-piece or a penalty. The team owe one to the Spaniard for their goalless draw away in Spain to Sevilla in the first leg of Champions League Round of 16 clash for his exceptional save denying Muriel a goal just before the halftime.
This was one of the best examples of what Jose does the best- using a more reactive or pragmatic approach. The former Real Madrid gaffer once again applied the handbrakes by playing a very defensive 4-3-3 with Paul Pogba instructed not to go forward when he replaced Ander Herrera.
Due to the approach, numerous United fans are losing their patience. This has also led to a negative equation between the manager and Old Trafford faithful. The prime reason for this has been Sir Alex Ferguson's attacking policy. During his tenure of 26 years, the fans were always treated to attacking football.
I've never played for a draw in my life." -Sir Alex Ferguson
Any Manchester United fan who witness the team play under Sir Alex will second what the former gaffer said. Of course, there were times United played a more pragmatic approach, but not as often as the side do now. A segment of the fanbase felt that he could've been a little more defensive minded against European teams, especially against FC Barcelona in the Champions League final in 2009 and 2011.
"For me, beautiful football is not giving our opponents what they want.” - Jose Mourinho.
On the contrary, Man United demolished Chelsea recently at Old Trafford and this time, Jose luckily set his horses free in the park. This was also evident at the start of the season when United won a couple of matches by scoring goals in the dying minutes, playing attractive football. On the other hand, back in October when they played Liverpool away at Anfield, they simply parked the bus.
The approach was criticised heavily but after watching Liverpool beat Manchester City, many felt it was the right thing to do in hindsight. This proves that Jose Mourinho can play beautiful and eye-catching football but in bigger games, he tends to be pragmatic and defensive which is why he has won numerous accolades in Europe.
Talking about attractive football, there are many teams like Tottenham who play quite well but fall short because of the rather one-dimensional approach.
Mourinho is someone who will go any length to win silverware, though it might get him the negative attention from the press for being a 'boring' manager.
His supposed bust-up with players like Iker Casillas and Cesc Fabregas at his former clubs will leave the fans a bit tetchy in regard to Pogba's situation. Pogba was phenomenal at the start of the season but didn't impress after he suffered an injury. But Jose this time is playing very a diplomatic card with his players and it is fair to say that he has evolved as a manager. However, we shouldn't forget his brilliant man management with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw.
Mourinho delivered three trophies in his debut season at the Theatre of Dreams- an improvement over both Louis van Gaal and David Moyes. Last season, United were 6th in the league. Currently, they stand 2nd. That's quite an improvement.
Agreed that Mourinho doesn’t play attractive and impeccable football. But, he wins. His arch-rival, Pep Guardiola has almost won the Premier League with an eye on the Champions League. He has gotten the better of Guardiola twice; with Inter and then with Real Madrid. But he does it his way- the pragmatic way.
Mourinho isn't everyone's cup of tea in Europe. He has won a whopping 25 trophies in his career including two trebles with Inter Milan and FC Porto. He is a great figure in the dressing room and is highly respected. United fans must accept that Jose is the best they can get now and with him in charge, there won't be a lack of trophies.