Jose Mourinho — LVG or Fergie 2.0?
I wrote this trudging through another international break (which basically means you checking the headlines to make sure neither Marcus Rashford or Paul Pogba suffer any serious injuries while on international duty) and I started to think about the game against Stoke City that had the majority of United fans dissappoited: was the game really that bad or was it a sign of the improvement that the team is making?
United 1 -1 Stoke City. This game brought the weirdest feeling that I’ve experienced from a draw in quite some time; I found myself over the last week thinking that United have certainly dropped points in the fixture but there was a feeling of vague satisfaction attached to the game that I couldn’t place my finger on. It was a weekend where everyone in and around us had picked up points we and City lost to a team whose brilliance that everybody seems to forget or ignore when they aren’t playing a top opposition; Tottenham.
Picking up three points on a weekend such as this would have beeen a very good weekend. United missed chance after chance after until Anthony Martial decided to replicate his goal against Stoke last season with a beautifully curled shot that hit the top right corner of the net in the second half. You would have expected United to just go on and hit them for three after this but a few more chances missed later we’re looking at the ‘Welsh Xavi’ Joe Allen equalising for Stoke. Final score 1–1 and United fans in dissapointment for the weekend; but there was something different about last weekend, it was the first time United had dropped points for the last two years and I felt that we were thouroughly the better side to watch on the day.
Improvement Under Jose
A look at the stats below will show you that United are getting their swagger back this season and it’s not LVG 2.0 rather than the beginning of what should be a great resurgence for this United team. Courtesy of football365, last season United had the folllowing averages:
Shots per game — 11.3 per game
Shots on target per game — 3.8 per game
The same stats this season read (as per whoscored.com)
Shots PG — 17.3
Shots on target PG — 10.7
United are starting to get their swagger back, this isn’t some article that proclaims that United will win the EPL, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League all this season, all I’m saying is that Jose Mourinho is bringing something United fans have craved since Fergie left, risk taking and attacking football. If you look at the above stats and the fact that we’ve got 10.7 dribbles per game it becomes clear that this isn’t the United restricted by Louis Van Gaal’s philosophical chains. Neither is it the typical Jose team that scores a goal and brings on a defensive midfielder to see the game out; we’re going for it, being brave and the results will start to show it in due time. It’s still early days so let’s hope for our sake we’ve got some goals coming in the next 4 or 5 games that take us a few positions up the log and bring the good times back to Old trafford.
Cheers, here’s to Marcus Rashford staying fit and a certain player staying on the bench a few games longer.