Mourinho has not been at the club for even a year yet, but it is important to not some of the changes he has made to the way Manchester United plays and in some aspects is ran. I will be ranking these in order of importance and to finish I’ll even say the problems i believe Jose needs to fix after this season, because this season is only the start. There is still plenty of work to do.
Style of play
This actually wasn’t too important on my list, because I knew as soon as Van Gaal left this would definitely improve, and it definitely has. Pogba and Mhikitaryian are the signings that embody this change of style, to a more entertaining way of playing, with players taking risks and and ignoring the amount of possession and only trying to make the most of the amount we have. During Van Gaal’s reign as manager, we always saw 2 defensive midfielders, making us look so static and very passive. Even in the smaller games we saw the likes of Schweinsteiger and Carrick playing together, two players that aren’t exactly the most daring. But under Mourinho this has changed. Against the bigger teams we will be more passive, to ensure we don’t drop points and they do. But against the smaller teams, we play an exciting and free forming 4-3-3. We are having a go now, trying harder to break teams down and especially, entertain the fans. So far there haven’t been any sightings of fans falling asleep during games, so definitely a sign of improvement!
United only won one trophy during the three years after Ferguson left. So Mourinho had a huge responsibility to remind the world why we are the biggest club in the world by gaining the trophies to show it, and Mourinho has started very brightly. He has already won as many trophies as Louis Van Gaal and David Moyes win during their times as manager. It has been seen in the past that Mourinho likes to use the League Cup as a moral boost for the players, to give them the desire and motivation to continue, and to give some players the winning feeling, and at this moment, it’s for the Europa League, a trophy that can easily be won, given the lower quality of teams and the squad depth United has. So let’s give Mourinho his third trophy, giving him a pretty solid start as Manchester United manager.
This to me was more important than style, because under Ferguson, we weren’t always this perfect 4-4-2, some games United won based on some effective counter attacks, but what those teams had was clinical strikers. Even though i cannot fault Zlatan’s countless goals, he hasn’t been perfect. When he doesn’t score, we usually do not win games. He has became our team when he plays, playing as the vocal point for the team and the main output of goals. There is nothing wrong with relying on him. He is paid to score goals. But my problem comes when he has an occasional off day, and no other players contribute. The arrival of Mhikitaryan and the form of Pogba has helped out, but more still needs to be done. Even though it is a massive improvement from last season, with more chances being created, we still need to put that ball in the back of the net if we ever want to win this league.
Easily my biggest criticism of the other two managers was their lack of Man United players brought into the club. When I say Manchester United players, i mean players at a high quality, producing high numbers for their club and worthy of a big move to a club at the top. This just wasn’t apparent under Van Gaal and Mourinho, buying players that weren’t up to the Manchester United standard, players like Schneiderlin, an aging Schweinsteiger, Depay and in some aspects, Rojo. These players weren’t up the usual standard we expect to see under Ferguson. But that has definitely improved. Zlatan has been an instant success, saving us throughout the season. He’s also given us a character, something we’ve lacked since the departure of players like Vidic, Ferdinand, Giggsy and Evra. Bailly was a player we desperately needed. We’ve been missing a consistent defender for a long time. Mhikitaryan has given us more creativity and a play who will run at defenders. And Pogba has given us some real quality and risk in that midfield, and more goals in general. Mourinho’s start at United has been excellent when it comes to signing players. There isn’t a single fault with the players he signed. Something i hope doesn’t change in the future.
Other factors Mourinho needs to improve
The most obvious one would be trying to integrate the academy players more. The only other the thing Mourinho needs to improve is the team’s shooting, because that has costed us so many games.