There was an air of disappointment on Sunday at Old Trafford as Jon Moss confirmed that the game between Manchester United and West Ham ended as 1-1.
United fans left the stadium angry for the fourth consecutive time in Premier League, as they saw their team dominate a game but not get the favourable result.
The plain statistics make for grim reading
Manchester United languish sixth in the Premier League. The title hopes ended before this weekend, but with two points dropped United will struggle to even finish in top four this year. They are eight points of the fourth placed Arsenal. Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands after kicking the bottle on touchline showing his frustration after Paul Pogba was given a yellow card for simulation.
Manchester United have sacked the previous two managers for failing to qualify for Champions League. However, it will be a huge mistake if the club does the same with Mourinho if they follow the same process again.
Continuity key to achieve success long term
Mourinho admitted in his pre-match conference of last Thursday’s game against Feyenoord that he will need time to get United back at the top. Unfortunately managers don’t get time in modern football. The last three years have been poor for United, they have finished 7th, 4th and 5th in the Premier League.
The change of managers in short time leds to pushing a reset button again and again. By the time the players get completely accustomed to one system, the manager is gone. Mourinho admitted early in the season that the players are still in the gear of Louis Van Gaal’s possession based system.
Van Gaal was likely to leave after his third year anyway as he had decided to retire after the end of the contract. On the other hand, Mourinho has the age on his side. He has been craving for this dream job where he can leave his legacy by staying at the club for a longer time. The disappointment is probably in the short term scenario, but with a manager of Mourinho’s quality it will reap rewards on long term basis as continuity is very key for United right now.
He is adapting according to club’s style of play
Mourinho’s teams have been famous for their defensive approach to games. The Portuguese has been widely regarded as one of the best in the games for grinding out the results by playing negative football. On the other hand, Manchester United are known for their attacking football. The pair looked a mismatched completely.
The oss has surprisingly changed his general approach to fit the profile of the club, to an extent. United have been playing expansive football rather than defensive football, with the only time when the team set up in a defensive block being against Liverpool at Anfield.
There are signs of improvement
The league table provides a bad reflection about how United have been playing this year. They were poor against Chelsea, Watford and in the first half against Manchester City. Apart from that United have been pretty positive with their performances. The chance creation rate has increased, and it's the finishing which has led down Mourinho’s men.
United were accused of being boring and not adventurous in the final third last year. They have been lively in that front. The team will start scoring sooner rather than later if they keep the same level of performances consistently. Mourinho has faced board problems and politics in his previous clubs. He has a major control of transfers and other aspect of the club at Manchester United under him, which should help Mourinho to get the best out of him and help United to reach the top again.
So, thinking of resetting once more, would be a little premature.