Mourinho Not For Changing at United
There's the Manchester United way and there's the Jose Mourinho way. As long as Mourinho's in charge at the club things will be done his way. Are people really that surprised with his approach to the first leg of United's Champions League tie in Seville? This is how he won the Europa League with United last season and Mourinho believes this is the best way to progress in the Champions League. It was United's ninth clean sheet in their past 11 matches in all competitions and their 23rd in total this season. That's impressive when you have Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in central defence although the brilliance of David de Gea does paper over the cracks.
It doesn't have to be so cautious when you consider the quality players they have in attack. The big story from last night in Spain was that Paul Pogba was left on the bench but don't forget sitting next to him were Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. That's the frustration for United fans. Mourinho has so many options in attack but his first thought will always be at the other end of the pitch. He will always feel the need to protect his back four and that's what they did against Sevilla last night and will do against Chelsea on Sunday.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez hasn't had the desired effect yet but it's still early days. Romelu Lukaku is a bigger problem for United despite his haul of 21 goals since his big money move from Everton. There's a role in the United team for Lukaku but I wonder would they be better off without him in the bigger games when they like to sit in and play on the counter. Sanchez, Martial and Rashford is a far more frightening prospect for defenders to deal with and Lingard could also be part of the conversation given how well he's played this season.
Paul Pogba only had to wait 17 minutes before he was brought off the bench last night but like so many other United players, he didn't do much catch the eye. The France international started the season well but that momentum came to a halt when he suffered a hamstring injury against Basel in September. Pogba signed for the club in July of 2016 but we're still having conversations about his best role in the team. That has to be a concern for United although the relationship between Pogba and Mourinho is surely more of a worry. Pogba has so much talent so he needs to start performing consistently in whatever position he asked to play.
Mourinho signed a new contract almost a month ago but that doesn't mean he'll see it out. United will fancy their chances of progressing to the quarter finals of the Champions League. I would not be surprised to see them go even further but it won't be pretty. If they can claim a top four spot in the Premier League and win the FA Cup, Jose can say it's been another good season, regardless of the lack of entertainment. If Mourinho was to take a job elsewhere, he would leave the club with a very good squad so some United fans might be counting down the days until they get a manager who can excite the fans at Old Trafford.