With the international break currently ongoing, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho are trying to salvage most of their time to rebuild themselves. The club is gradually making wholesale behind the scenes changing, reporting and trying to plan for life post Mourinho (whose time at the club may have gotten shorter with the series of losses, draws and near scrape victories and numerous bust-ups with senior players, club officials and of course, the media).
The manager faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford and reports suggest that the club are searching for a potential successor in the international break. With training ground disputes, questionable on pitch decisions, no team structure and no club structure, United are in the current state of limbo. There is a hierarchy consisting of the rich Glazer family and Ed Woodward, who are all controlling the club like a business rather than a world class footballing family. The football is run independently with no proper communication between the manager and the hierarchy. We are not far away from a situation where the club may follow in the footsteps of the likes of Chelsea, who sack their manager every 2ndor 3rd season. Some people may say at least they won titles. The main reason being some footballing know how in the club with Michael Emenalo and Marina Granovskaia controlling the transfers, football operations and maintaining the core values and style of the club.
For 26 years United didn’t require a technical director as they had Sir Alex around, who created the values of the club himself. His leadership qualities and ideologies didn’t require an upper hand as he created the ethos of the club and understood the importance of the youth, which Sir Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy created at the club. The Glazers were busy securing sponsors during Sir Alex’s final season and didn’t seem to think about life after him and who would run the club after the man spearheading the football operations and managing the team retires. There was no one to stop David Moyes who was busy targeting the likes of Phil Jagielka and Marouane Fellaini. The club didn’t try to sign Toni Kroos as the Glazers knew that Moyes would work under a budget and spent the money on who knows what and numerous sponsors after that.
They knew that Mourinho had a history of authority issues in his previous jobs and still signed him. It was a good decision, they knew that Mourinho was a winner because he got what he needed with financial backing, getting the players he required. Mkhitarayan, Zlatan, Pogba and Bailly in the first season won them the Europa and EFL Cup but, Lukaku, Lindelof and Matic couldn’t do the trick in the second year with United missing out on Perisic as the club refused to pay a few extra million. In addition they failed to sign Bale and didn’t get a left back or an experienced centre back for two whole seasons. There is no stability in the club as the manager asks for targets suiting his defensive style. Mourinho is not a fan of youth and attacking football, preferring experience whilst the heads prefer youth because of their marketability and not their skill. As there is no Director of Football, there is always going to be a clash of ideologies where in the club owners don’t even have a footballing ideology.
|Source: Daily Mail|
Mourinho is free to play his own style of defensive football because there is no footballing brain in the club to keep an eye on him and the owners don’t financially back the manager as they don’t believe it makes sense from a business point of view. They don’t know the main footballing point of view however as there is no one to tell them and the manager is always under fire whilst the club haven’t supported him at all and don’t understand the football behind Manchester United FOOTBALL Club.
Mourinho is also to blame in all this mess as he is taking all the frustration out on the pitch. Playing Scott McTominay in defence, playing strength and defensive players like Fellaini, Matic and Herrera who slow the game down, wherein United have a history of fast and high-octane attacking game play. No doubt Mourinho is a great manager, but he will continue playing his ‘dinosaur’ football when there is no one to stop him. For three whole seasons, United haven’t had a solid defensive pairing and still haven’t got one. Eric Bailly, arguably the clubs best centre back, is not being selected and is being substituted off in hardly 20 minutes. Playing Sanchez in the wrong position and public criticism of Pogba is the definition of playing the Jose way and the not United way.
Mourinho is a serial winner and I will support him to until the end. Not suggesting that United should sack Mourinho, but saying that given the state of things and without a Director of Football, United aren’t winning a major title. These constant disputes with the board and clash of ‘ideologies’ aren’t going to get the club anywhere even if they have one of the best managers on the planet. Mentally, Mourinho will not be able to do his job properly and will instead take his anger out in the ways we are currently seeing as he has lost the confidence of senior members of the squad already. He is unintentionally harming the club’s reputation, stature, image and values all because of an ignorant board and no footballing mind to look after him.
|Source: Daily Mail|
I’m not saying that United should sack Mourinho, sacking him will not make sense as the same situation is going to happen with the next and then the next and then the next manager who takes charge. But given the current situation, it would be the best for the club to appoint a Director of Football before January, who knows the values of the club could reduce the burden and guide Jose so that he can plan for the future. However, given the attitude of the board, fixtures against Chelsea and Juventus would make or break Jose’s United future (which is not looking good for him). He is a helpless man as he hasn’t got the backing and, due to the board’s negligence, Jose could be sent packing just to cover the Glazers tracks. A technical director would instil attacking football into the club.
United are not a modern FOOTBALL club nor a stable club. They should follow the examples of the likes of Inter Milan, Ajax and Roma, who have former players who know the values of the club and who are successful as the values of the club are implemented. I wouldn’t mind an attacking minded manager, but there needs to be a Director of Football who would select the best candidate for the job. As of now, Jose Mourinho’s time at Manchester United may be coming to an end. But, in Jose I trust till the end!