It’s still fairly early on in the season, but José Mourinho must prove quickly that his time here at Old Trafford is no fluke.
For two years United fans, like myself, endured the monotonous style of play that former manager Louis van Gaal preached would bring success.
If by success he meant:
- A lack of firepower
- placing 4th and 5th in the League Table each year
- failing to advance out of the group stage for the Champions League
- failing to qualify for it the following year
- oh yes, how could I forget.. winning the highly coveted F.A Cup.
Then, yes, success was surely achieved.
Simply put… this football club and its fan base are SPOILED and we will settle for NOTHING LESS.
All we know is glory. Yet, these past few years have been nothing of the sort.
Expectations are at an all-time high. With the decline of United great, Wayne Rooney, it is vital that someone takes the torch that is so patiently waiting to be grasped.
Will it be Paul Pogba? The superb midfielder whose arrival cost MUFC a world record fee of the U.S equivalent: $116.4 million.
Pogba has a great chance to be that guy (I really hope so considering how much we spent on him), but it’s all dependent on what scheme Mourinho decides to play him in. Something we learned that can change a player’s ability to have an effect on the game… *cough cough*
Eden Hazard last season…
Or, will it be Marcus Rashford? The 18 year old England native who took the football world by storm when he debuted for United earlier this year; scoring 2 goals in the process. Receiving praise from the greats, some even comparing his fast pace and sudden movement to the style of the Little Magician, Lionel Messi.
Then, there is the Frenchman, Anthony Martial (my personal favorite). Another young and promising attacker that debuted last year, racking up 17 goals and 12 assists for all matches during the season. Martial’s technical approach to the game and style of play has been compared to his fellow countryman and Premier League legend, Thierry Henry. Both players are known for their ability to dribble past defenders with such artistry.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has had a rough start for MUFC. The former BVB midfielder can’t seem to find the pitch due to injuries, and when he does, his play has been subpar. First year jitters? I hope so because when in top form… Mkhi is nothing short of world-class.
Quite the promising future we have, yeah? Well, as I mentioned earlier, the deciding factor in whether or not this takes form is José Mourinho.
A man known for his somewhat stubbornness and arrogance at times, but his ability to create something so beautiful when executed correctly is nothing short of brilliance.
So, let’s nip this in the bud now. Wayne Rooney isn’t a player adequate for the starting XI anymore. I’m sorry but someone had to say it instead of living in the past.
I love Rooney. He’s our Captain. He was there when we were at the top- the creator of fantastic finishes like these against our bitter rival Manchester City.
That was the past though. Lets discuss the now.
A player very capable of creating and finishing chances when given the opportunity, but Rooney doesn’t have the legs and pace anymore to do it for a full 90 minutes. Especially not against top quality opponents.
It’s something that José must come to terms with. I see Rooney as a pivotal piece off the bench. But, if he keeps starting in the XI, then he is just hindering the growth of young footballers like Rashford, Depay, Herrera, and Lingard.
Former Mourinho foe and midfielder, Juan Mata, has also proved that he’s very worthy of a spot in the starting XI.
When choosing to bench Rooney in the game against defending champs Leicester City, we saw what Mourinho’s Men are capable of.
Mourinho just has to accept it. This isn’t the business where you should be reluctant to step on someone’s toes or hurt their feelings. Especially not at Old Trafford. Rooney knows, the fans know, and I know that this is what’s best for the team. Period. Time for you to make this permanent José.
The addition of Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly is refreshing after our recent struggles with that particular side of the ball. Bailly, Smalling, and Shaw are all young and very promising defenders to aid arguably the best GK in the world, David De Gea.
Dutch defender Daley Blind has been perhaps our best defender the past two seasons. The Red Devil is quick, smart, ferocious, extraordinary vision and just has a knack for getting to the ball. He’s only 26 too. If he continues at this rate, we could be looking at another pivotal piece for years to come. Hopefully Mourinho continues to believe in him.
The emergence of seasoned vet Antonio Valencia along the right side of the pitch has been nothing short of spectacular. The creator of some masterful crosses. The crafty winger and RB has been a standout so far.
It’ll be interesting to see what Mourinho does with the likes of Carrick and Schneiderlin.
Michael Carrick has been a fan favorite for years at Old Trafford now. A member on the team through the Golden Years- I don’t think he’s world class quality, but when given the chance he can produce some beautiful passes and good defending; flops between CM and CB.
Morgan Schneiderlin, on the other hand, is a surprising case. Like Carrick, he hasn’t really seen the pitch this season in the Premier League. Given, he is a van Gaal bought player, so maybe Mourinho doesn’t see him fitting in his scheme, but you’d be a fool to not acknowledge his talent. A controller of tempo and the producer of spot on passes… something’s got to give
A King’s Arrival
Zlatan. Ibrahimovic. The 6'5 Swedish King, now the latest striker to take on the 9 for Manchester Red. Not only do United fans expect brilliance, but so does Zlatan himself. He knows what he’s capable of and who he’s chasing. After all, there can only be one true king of United, right?
Ibrahimovic had his starting spot secured before he stepped foot on the pitch.
Reuniting with his former manager from their Inter Milan days probably had a lot to do with it, but the sheer dominance that he exhibits while on the pitch is more likely the reason.
He’ll probably only be sporting Manchester Red for one or two years, but let’s just hope it’s two glorious years. It’ll be intriguing to see how Rashford and Martial develop under his tutelage as well.
A Long Ways
As the season continues to unfold and the hierarchy of the league becomes more visible- it’s crucial that Mourinho lets it be known that MUFC is back.
Early results like the loss to our rivals Manchester City and the draw against Liverpool aren’t ideal. Like any eager and hungry fan, I want results right now. We want right results right now. But, the Premier League isn’t a race but more of a marathon.
With that being said, we must be patient. Yes, I know it’s the same thing van Gaal said when he was manager, but magic isn’t just created overnight. It’s a process and Mourinho is the prime example of that. That’s been his approach all throughout his career. So we wait. All eyes on you José.
Here’s to a W against Chelsea this Sunday. Let’s go REDS!