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12 September 2018, by: Thabang Kgeledi


Guest columnist Thabang Kgeledi @cheez_zoboblog of Zobo Football Blog digs into Manchester United and their manager Jose Mourinho.

I am not a Jose Mourinho fan. He is arrogant, his defensive football is a pain to watch, and he gave himself a nickname which is a no-no.

Corny nicknames aside, love him or hate him, you’d have to concede, Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers of his generation.

He has won 13 league cups and 8 league championships in four different leagues, plus 2 UEFA Champions Leagues and 2 UEFA Europa Leagues.

However, a slow start to this season has seen him become public enemy number 1 for pundits, media, and some Manchester United supporters in the Twitterverse.

Manchester United have lost 2 of their first 4 games in the Premier League this season, including Jose Mourinho’s biggest ever home defeat as a manager in any competition against Spurs.

Would firing Jose Mourinho be the answer to Manchester United’s problems? I think not, and I will prove it to you, let’s begin by looking at what are the issues he is facing currently.

Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward has been stingier than a person who sneaks in their own food at the cinema – on discount Tuesdays.

To date, Mourinho has spent £401.7m on new players. It sounds like a lot of money but, it isn’t when you have to deal in a market that has experienced considerable price inflation over the past two years.

For context, Everton paid £44.46m (R783,474,509.34) for Gylfi Sigurdsson a player many casual football fans might not know. His name sounds more like a Scandinavian villain in a James Bond movie than a footballer.

Manchester United’s rivals Manchester City and have spent £538.74m and Liverpool £424.65m (£176.95m of it was spent this transfer window alone) over the same time period respectively.

You cannot compete in today’s Premier League without spending money .Tottenham are an anomaly whose reluctance to spend will catch up to them soon.

There is only so much you can do as a manager. At the end of the day, the players need to show their worth of the football field.

How are errors like this:

Jose Mourinho’s fault?

Yes, you right they aren’t. Manchester United hasn’t been playing well as a unit. Some might argue that it’s the way he sets them up but top players getting paid boatloads of money should figure it out.

Now that we have come to the conclusion that his team’s lacklustre performances are around 40% his fault, let’s examine if Manchester United have improved under him:

Statistically, Jose Mourinho is Manchester United’s best manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

In terms of progression, Mourinho’s United had the highest league finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning final season at Old Trafford in 2012/13. Plus, Mourinho won the League Cup and Europa League during his first season in charge and has reached the FA Cup semi-finals last season.

Names of the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte have been thrown around as possible replacements for Jose. Well, the former isn’t tried and tested yet, and all I have to say about the latter is: did you watch Chelsea last season? They were horrible.

Manchester United should stick with their man, give him money in the next transfer window and watch him turn around the ship.

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