Sport24.co.za | United old boys accept Mourinho tactics

Sport24.co.za | United old boys accept Mourinho tactics

Sport24.co.za | United old boys accept Mourinho tactics

Cape Town – Former Manchester United players have queued up to pass judgment on their old team under Jose Mourinho, whose negative game plan in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Monday sparked a lively debate over the club’s direction.While Gary Neville predicted that United would not win the league this season, Ryan Giggs said he would accept the manner of Monday’s performance in which they had just 35 per cent possession, the lowest in any of their games since statistics were first collected in 2003.Although, bizarrely, Mourinho disputed that figure – insisting United had in fact enjoyed 42 per cent possession at Anfield – he also said it reflected his masterplan to control the game.Mourinho may find it harder to explain away another new low, however, because United’s tally of 14 points from eight games represents the Portuguese coach’s worst start to a campaign in 15 years.That total is also two points worse than United managed under Louis van Gaal at the same stage last year and is probably not what the club had in mind when they spent £145 million on his recommendations in the summer.Another former United player, Ray Wilkins, said the pressure of expectation on Mourinho is relentless. “He has to keep winning while changing the side,” Wilkins told Sky Sports. “It is not always easy when you are trying to establish yourself at a huge club. But he will be delighted by that point.”Mourinho has not been helped by the limited impact made by record signing Paul Pogba, who had another quiet game at Anfield, and Henrikh Mikhitaryan, who once again did not make the team as Mourinho opted for the strength and solidity of Marouane Fellaini.Apart from one half against Leicester City, in which he scored his only goal for United, Pogba has struggled to justify his world-record fee, and Mourinho still seems unsure how to employ him.On Monday it was another United midfielder, Ander Herrera, who won Man-of-the-Match for a killjoy performance that saw him prevent a far more talented player, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, from exerting more of an influence.That says much about how far United have…

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