Opinion: Are Manchester United affected by lack of discipline?

Opinion: Are Manchester United affected by lack of discipline?

Jose Mourinho’s United had been on a fine run until the Manchester derby, but things haven't gone very well ever since.

Armen Demirjian

Gone are the days of Sir Alex Ferguson. A man who had prepared Manchester United sides of year-in, year-out silverware celebrations.

The man himself called it a career back in 2013, which started the decline which had been long disappeared from the Theater of Dreams ever since the 80s.

Three seasons - before the appointment of the former Chelsea manager - were nothing but hard times for the Old Trafford side and fans. A period during which only the Emirates FA Cup was won by previous club manager Louis van Gaal.

With the appointment of Jose Mourinho, the excitement was automatically brought back to the club. His arrival in Manchester meant that big names will surely follow him at the club, despite missing on UEFA Champions League football for a second time in three years.

The four major signings of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the world record transfer of Paul Pogba sent a clear message to the Premier League that Manchester United are back to fight for the league title.

Three consecutive defeats represented in the Manchester derby, away at Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League group stage and the most recent blow at Watford’s Vicarage Road feel nothing but like the old days of the David Moyes and Louis van Gaal eras.

The Portuguese is surely to blame for his selection and tactical decisions in those defeats but the man is not the only one to criticize for United’s collapse. Let’s have a look.

Overuse of social media platforms

Social media is a new term if we look back at the Sir Alex Ferguson days. But even during the tenure of the Scottish coach, the players were restricted to overusing such applications. The man himself was too cautious that his players don’t get attracted to any matters outside their game.

In today’s football world, the United players are often posting statuses and photos on their social media accounts. They even share their life events such as hair styles, dances and many more related stuff with their fans.

The club’s official Twitter account was not permitted to be used before David Moyes took over.

Could social media be a serious discipline distraction factor? Certainly.

Old Trafford loses fear factor

The Theater of Dreams is no more feared by visiting opponents. Manchester United had lost against the likes of Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City and Swansea City in recent seasons. 

Mourinho’s responsibility of turning Old Trafford into a hell of a place for visiting teams is a very important factor and it should start by preparing the players’ mentalities to be able to give their opponents the hard time when visiting the Theater of Dreams.

Manchester United players are disappointed by recent by recent results (image source: Laurence Griffiths/Getty)
Manchester United players are disappointed by recent by recent results

A leading character is missing?

Is Wayne Rooney leading the team by example? Is he really showing his captaincy and strong character on the field?

The truth is that ever since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United did not have the personality to spread the fear in the opposing teams.

The England captain is not enjoying the best of his career at the moment and could find his position occupied by the likes of Mkhitaryan or Juan Mata if his poor performances continue.

Mourinho should have the leading character in Ibrahimović or Pogba in order to restore the team spirit and get back to winning ways.