Jose Mourinho started with a back three against Tottenham for their match at Old Trafford. There was a general consensus that Nemanja Matic would play in the makeshift defence alongside English defensive pair of Phil Jones and Cris Smalling.
However Jose Mourinho surprised everyone by deploying Ander Herrera as the right side of the makeshift defence with the Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf dropping to the bench, but was later brought on for Jones who suffered an injury during the match.
The decision backfired as United lost 0-3 against Spurs. Jose Mourinho later admitted that he should have started with Lindelöf instead of Herrera who is not a defender, and was later substituted for Alexis Sanchez.
For the first forty- five minutes the makeshift defence performed well along with the entire team. The entire team played with intensity and purpose just as Mourinho would have liked after the previous week Manchester united defeat against Brighton and Hove and Albion.
Yet within ten minutes into restart United’s defence conceded twice with Harry Kane nodding down Kieran Tripper’s corner and Lucas Moura scoring the second goal of the game. the defence apparently and unsuspectingly culprit for both the goals, with Kane exerting his superiority on jones and Herrera who unknowingly played Cristian Eriksen onside which allowed Moura to score the second goal of the game, who then went on to make it 3-0 with his second strike of the game.
This loss was the heaviest Mourinho has suffered at home in any competition in his career and the defeat heaps further pressure on Jose Mourinho, who has cut a frustrated figure on the side-lines for several weeks due to failed transfer window and a difficult start to the season neither of which he is comfortable with.
To make the matter worse the Spurs fans booed him by chanting “ you are getting sacked in the morning” before adding “you are not special anymore.”
Speaking after the match Mourinho declared that :
“We were booed and deservedly so and today the players left the pitch after losing at home and were applauded because they deserve it. so you keep trying and trying and trying and keep trying, keep trying.”
Jose Mourinho got angrier and angrier, but his players didn’t. the most of united players let their head slump into their chest.
“Just to finish. do you know what was the result? 3-0. do you know what this means?3-0, but also means three premierships and I won more than the other 19 managers together. three for me, two for them. respect, man. respect, respect”
Jose Mourinho was hinting that the relationship between him and Manchester United’s chief Ed Woodward was at all time low. He repeatedly wanted to have a sit-down with Woodward about United transfer target, but Ed declined Mourinho appeals citing he was too busy.
However Jose Mourinho seems to have the support of Manchester United’s fans who are also angry with Woodward’s failure to land any of Mourinho’s target during the transfer window. It seems that United hierarchy’s miserliness to spend money for the club, has made them prioritise champions league qualification over the past glory days in order to generate more revenue and this has undoubtedly angered Mourinho and some section of the fans. For now it is cash over glory for them and this clearly hasn’t gone down well with the fans at all.
Sir Alex Ferguson glorious days came when Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were at the heart of the defence, Even Mourinho all title-winning seasons had a constant backline which is seemingly absent at Manchester united. This was the reason Mourinho wanted a new central defender like Harry Maguire or Toby Alderweireld, who started the match against United and showed what they were missing.
Jose Mourinho for now deserves a bit more respect from the united hierarchy as he is a coach who is used to winning title with a quality team and is highly respected by his peers like Mauricio Pochettino who even praised Mourinho prior to the built-up of the game. Honestly like he has shown countless times before, if given the proper tools he can lead Manchester united back to the success that everyones craves about and bring us as close to the olden glorious days of Ferguson era as possible.