- Get Rid of Ibrahimovic
One of the best debut seasons in terms of end product I’ve seen in the Premier League era. It gets even more ridiculous with the amount of clear cut chances he has missed. Aged 35, Ibrahimovic still puts in the numbers of a world class performer. It becomes a different story when you aren’t looking only at his goal tally, Ibrahimovic has one of the worst conversion rates in Europe this season and that’s huge considering strikers like Cavani, convert 1 out of 7 chances. His movement off the ball is atrocious, he almost never makes runs in behind the last line of defence which doesn’t help his midfielders. United crumble whenever they’re up against a deep block line of defence meanwhile the likes of City and Liverpool barely have this problem because the pacy presence of Kun Aguero, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Mane and Firmino keep opponents on their feet for 90 minutes. As if creating chances isn’t already difficult enough, United have Ibrahimovic missing the simplest of chances. With a torn ACL and Rashford’s recent stunning performances, thank you Zlatan but it’s time to go.
- Stop Seeing Games Out After 60 Mins
Mourinho has always been negative with is style of play, United knew this even before he was signed but expected different, only thing is he’s negative and will remain that way for a long time because of his obsession with protecting the goal as main priority. Excuses have been made for him, how he broke the goal scoring record in La Liga and Chelsea’s first half of the 2014/2015 season when they played exceptional football with Eden Hazard and Fabregas pulling the strings. But even with all of that, what we’ve seen this season tells us he is one of two things or both. One, he’s not confident enough in his attackers to get the job done. Two, his desperation is taking its effects on him. Most recent instance, 1-0 up vs Anderlecht and he brings on Fellaini to see the game out which ended up costing him, 1-1 in the away tie, United were lucky to see the game out in extra time in the return leg. With teams planning to rebuild and every top team in the league progressing, Mourinho cannot be caught slacking, reason why this mentality needs to be corrected before the start of next season.
- Go Easy On Youngsters
Eyebrows were raised when Jose signed for United, the futures of Rashford, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Fosu Mensah were uncertain because Mourinho’s track record with youth players has been disastrous to say the least. Questions were asked and so far so good they have been answered, with Rashford and Lingard getting frequent starts. Only question left is, why have Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw not excelled under Jose? Mourinho recently spoke highly of Martial, saying he’s a good player but doesn’t do enough of what he wants which only points towards one angle, defending. An attacker should not be graded based on how well he defends but how good his end product is. There’s no doubting Anthony Martial when given good run of games, he puts in fine numbers as he did during the 2015/2016 campaign. Luke Shaw on the other hand hasn’t been able to hack it under the new management, since his leg fracture we haven’t had a glimpse of what he’s capable of. Mourinho putting so much pressure on these two youngsters will only lead to their decline. This doesn’t augur well for upcoming youths in the academy and needs to be sorted out before it becomes a norm.
- Attacking Mentality in Big Games
More often than not we have seen Mourinho approach big games with a negative mentality which is not the United way. Fans are groaning silently, cutting him some slack because it is indeed his first season at the club. But what United should be worried about is if he spends big money this summer and still goes into big games with the same mentality. One can cite the recent 2-0 win against Chelsea as a change but it should also be noted that the game was a must win and also an ego boost following the 4-0 thumping at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. That result also gets us to understand Mourinho knows the right way to play football but ignores it nonetheless because protecting the goal, to him is more important than scoring. That mentality is clearly not the United mentality and needs to be eradicated.
- Assign A New Captain
Safe to say Rooney has severely dipped since the start of the Jose Mourinho era. Slows the game down, doesn’t start as much games and can’t seem to know his playing position every time he’s on the pitch. This figure cannot be held responsible as a captain any more when he starts 1 in 8 games. Questions have been raised about who the next captain should be and with Madrid lurking around the corner, Spanish international, David de Gea is not exactly a safe option. Herrera on the other hand has been Mourinho’s man for the dirty job. Delivers when called upon, can also be noticed how he sternly passes instructions to his team mates during games. Operates at the center of the pitch as well which is also a plus. Almost a perfect figure in my opinion. Mourinho is a strange man who recently graced Fellaini and Lingard new contracts so there are shouts Fellaini might be in contention. All that needs to be sorted out before the beginning of next season.
This post was written with the help of Imeh Usoro. Twitter @JACKS_N