Tottenham Hotspur are the latest team to pile up pressure on Jose Mourinho. After a disappointing away loss at Brighton, fans expected a reaction from Jose Mourinho and Manchester United however were left utterly disappointed.
With the home crowd behind them, few expected the final scoreline as it stood. The visitors registered a comprehensive 3-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Despite having started brightly and having dominated the first half, Jose’s side slumped to a 3-0 defeat and seemed completely outplayed by the end of the game. Harry Kane scored the first goal 5 minutes after half time while It took Lucas Moura another 2 minutes double the lead for Tottenham.
1. Jose Mourinho was right to search for defensive re-inforcement :
Mourinho started the season with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf as the centre back pair. But neither of them seemed to provide the required stability to the United defense. United for the second season in a row lost at Brighton with the same pair at the heart of the defence and for what it seems there hasn’t actually been any improvement at all.
Having conceded 3 goals at Brighton the pair were subsequently dropped for the Tottenham match. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling started Mourinho hoped for more stability in defence and eventually a better outcome than the last.
Both of them started well but as the match went on defensive frailties became all too clear. Confusion in defence saw Dele Alli getting in behind the defence only to get his shots blocked by Smalling and Herrera on two different occasions.
The Harry Kane goal was also courtesy of poor marking from Phil Jones. Even the second goal saw Phil Jones out of position while Herrera did a poor defensive job in his place.
Phil Jones limped off with an apparent injury, 58 minutes into the game and even the last goal United conceded saw a Smalling tackle go horribly wrong as Moura eased past him before slotting the ball in the net for tottenham
2.Jose Mourinho might have found the perfect formation for United :
While In the current situation, United fans have very little to be optimistic about, the form and style of football and the formation employed by Jose Mourinho against Tottenham surely is one of them.
A 4-3-2-1 formation looked fluid, high pressing, attacking and saw Matic, Fred and Herrera dominate the midfield with Pogba in a much advanced role. The pace of Lukaku and Lingard on the other hand ensured United keep pressing Tottenham High.
3. Luke Shaw will be a mainstay this season :
Luke Shaw, last season, has endured arguably the most difficult season since joining Manchester United. Questions about his attitude, his fitness and his mentality had been raised on a number of occasions.
Moreover his treatment by Jose Mourinho, was not well received by many United faithfuls and was considered too public by many.
But Luke Shaw this season has been in the good books of Jose Mourinho. He has started every game this season so far and was arguably the best player for United against Tottenham.
Taking adventurous runs down the left flank and putting in dangerous crosses while defending soundly against possible threat are the reasons why he seems to have cemented his place at left back under Mourinho.
It may be a bitter defeat against Tottenham but United have been the better team for large parts of the match. They have dominated the ball and have created decent chances. But the defence and attack needs to step up it’s game in order to give United even a chance of getting into the top 4 and subsequently challenging the title which for now seems like a really long shot.
Romelu Lukaku in attack has particularly looked off his paces. With most of his dribbles being unsuccessful and having missed an open net he surely needs to address his shortcomings. Finishing in all has been disappointing from the attackers with Lukaku the only forward scoring one goal in previous 4 goals scored by United.
Apart from attacking the defense needs much attention. With Mourinho agreeing to not knowing his best center back pair in post match press conference.
Whether or not these shortcomings are dealt with, Mourinho will be desperate for positive results and remove his third season curse.