…and for Jose Morinho as well.
Tuesday night at Old Trafford is much more than a chance to clinch the qualification to the next phase of the Champions League with a game to spare. It’s much more than that for United, their manager and fans alike.
Sticking their heads through the exit door of what’s been a difficult stage of the season, Manchester United are heading towards a seemingly easier stretch. With games against Manchester City, Juventus and Chelsea all behind them, the laboured 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace is a reminder that this easier set of matches will not be as easy as United might have thought.
The lacklustre stalemate against the league’s strugglers last weekend once again pushed Jose Mourinho under the spotlight. The Portuguese tactician decided to slam the players, acuse them of ‘lacking heart’ but once again failed to provide enough evidence he wasn’t the biggest culprit for his team’s downfall.
Heading out of the Old Trafford pitch after a dispirited display, Manchester United players were booed off the field by their own supporters.
Lack of Enthusiasm
Manchester United are enduring their worst start to a season in last 28 years as they sit mammoth 14 points behind leaders Manchester City. Red Devils are locked in seventh, well adrift of the qualifying positions for the next season’s edition of the Champions League.
Having once again splashed out significant sums of money to rebuild their squad in the summer, Manchester United are nowhere near to competing with Manchester City. Guardiola’s glorious Citizens are going full throttle week in and week out while Mourinho’s men appear to be stuck in second gear.
Such a slow pace has to be blamed on the manager, though. Jose Mourinho’s archaic approach has drained enthusiasm out of the attack-minded group of players the Portuguese has at his disposal and deprived them of liberty to show off their full range of talents going forward.
Often described as a dinosaur of a coach, Jose Mourinho resorts to resentment when faced with constructive criticism. The club’s tradition of playing attacking football is being suffocated and removed entirely from Old Trafford which is slowly becoming a theatre of broken dreams.
Lack of Support
As the team prepares to welcome Young Boys in tonight’s Champions League match – which can see United clinch qualification if they manage to win and Valencia fail to beat Juventus – the Red Devils will have a rare sight of empty seats at Old Trafford.
Mundane football Mourinho has imported to Manchester United has resulted in club struggling to sell tickets for a Champions League night. Priced between £45 and £58, tickets are still available in three of four sides of the stadium.
Reasons for poor sale numbers are simple. Jose Mourinho’s men have failed to score in both of their home Champions League matches this season. A goalless draw with Valencia and a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Juventus seem to be enough of a reason for supporters to steer away from visiting the stadium. And that’s the case even despite the fact Red Devils are given a price of 1/1 to score a goal in tonight’s game and win without conceding.
Contrary to the Champions League nights, Manchester United are having no problems filling the stadium for Premier League matches and games against Arsenal, Fulham and Huddersfield are already sold out.
So what needs to be done in order for Manchester United fans to restore faith in their team?
Basics, for starters. Mourinho’s men appear to be lacking confidence. Another thing is the inability to master short passes which have been widely misplaced, together with world-star footballers showing the total absence of elegant first touch.
Players are struggling to find enough motivation to give their best for Jose Mourinho – or at least that’s the general impression. It is more than evident even through a mere comparison with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City whose players are displaying plenty of heart, spirit and desire to play for Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, respectively.
Jose Mourinho’s public appearances and the way he conducts himself around the players, however, is suggesting a lack of love in a Manchester United marriage that – at the moment – is doing more harm than good to all sides involved in it.
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