Why Manchester United Boss Could be Another Post-Fergie Flop

It has been a mixed season for Manchester United as their 6th place finish was confirmed on Tuesday night following an Arsenal win.

This position is actually a place worse than last season under former manager Louis Van Gaal. The only silver lining in the season for United is the fact that they won the EFL Cup against Southampton in February and that they have a chance to return to the Champions League; if they overcome Ajax in Stockholm. However, it will be a disaster if they do not complete this feat.

Annoying has been a word branded around by Manchester United fans to describe this season. They went on a 26 match unbeaten streak but only moved up one place in that time as they squandered chance after chance to break into the top four.

Manchester United have recorded 15 league draws all season and 10 of those have been at Old Trafford; a stadium which used to be an impenetrable fortress. There have been far too many poor performances in games where they should actually be dictating the play rather than hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

What has frustrated Manchester United fans is the fact that big money has been spent to help them find a certain degree of success in the post-Fergie era.

Under Mourinho, they have spent a world record fee on midfielder Paul Pogba, extraordinary wages on Zlatan Ibrahimović and a combined £60 million on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly. All this money on top of money previously spent by Van Gaal and Moyes is starting to look like poor investments, as opposed to building for a better future.

The Portuguese tactician has also openly criticised certain members of his squad, well pretty much all of them actually. It is a strategy the former Chelsea manager has used before as some players react well to this treatment, but some do not react at all.

He has also questioned injuries and the commitment of players such as Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling. This type of treatment could lead to a massive backlash from players; just as it did at Chelsea in his second spell.

Manchester United have looked laboured moving forward this season and have lacked the attacking pace that the Old Trafford faithful craves.

However, with players such as Rooney, Ibrahimović and Fellaini they slow the play down allowing the opposition team to get back. The 20-time league Champions look an entirely better unit with Rashford and Martial using their raw pace to frighten defences.

They also appear more threatening when technical players such as Mkhitaryan and Mata are allowed the freedom to express themselves rather than shackled to defending.

However, despite these criticisms, there is still time for Mourinho, and he has to be given a chance to prove himself. Some may argue that he does not stay at a club longer than three years and will do the same here. But you feel he cares about United and will want to prove the doubters wrong next season as he aims for the title.

It is also important the Manchester United hierarchy do not slip into the habit of chopping and changing managers willy nilly. They went through Moyes and Van Gaal in just three seasons with the latter leaving just a day after winning the F.A Cup trophy.

Champions League football is essential next season for the three-time European Champions, and it will be tough ask to overcome a youthful Ajax side. If they fail to make the Champions League, it makes the season look a lot less impressive, and they will miss out on a lot of money.

A season without winning the Europa League this year will be seen as average by some or even unacceptable by others, as a 6th place finish and League Cup win is not the Manchester United way.

But a major European trophy on top of that does improve things slightly as Mourinho will have completed a treble (in his own words) in his first season. The season hangs on the game in Stockholm, and there will be plenty of nervous fans watching around the world; none more so than on the touchline at the Friends Arena.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More like this

Premier League 2024 - Everton, Man City and Tottenham

Premier League 2024 – A Look at Campaign...

Winning and losing in sports can be a habit in their own right. When a team wins...
January Transfer Window - Donny van de Beek loaned to Eintracht Frankfurt

January Transfer Window – Donny van de Beek and...

The January transfer window is a week old and surprisingly there have been many transfers to date....
Manchester United Manager Erik Tan Hag

Why Ten Hag is living on borrowed time

After an encouraging first season, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag, like other managers before him is...