Saturday, March 25, 2023

Jose Mourinho is Running Out of Excuses at Manchester United

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Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League following a disastrous night at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were stung by La Liga side Sevilla who recorded a 2-1 victory courtesy of Wissam Ben Yedder, whose brace was enough to stun Old Trafford crowd in the second leg of the Last 16 tie.

Belgium international striker did well to pull a goal back late in the game but that was all woeful and reactive Manchester United were able to do as Jose Mourinho suffered the worst result of his reign in charge of England’s greatest club.

The Portuguese tactician offered a weird explanation of his team’s Champions League elimination during his post-match conference to already baffled set of Man United supporters.

“I’ve sat in this chair twice before in the Champions League, and I knock Man Utd out at home twice, with Porto – Man Utd out, and with Real Madrid – Man Utd out. So this is nothing new for this football club.”, Jose Mourinho said.

“I don’t want to make a drama out of it, we don’t have time for that. We have a match on Saturday, we have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. And that’s football, it’s not the end of the world.”, he added.

Out of Excuses

Short-tempered at times, the Portuguese tactician is running out of excuses at Manchester United and the last night’s press conference is the latest proof.

Jose Mourinho seems to be losing the plot with the Reds who were once again retracted and pulled back in a match they were expected to dominate. This might be the first time in a while that Mourinho did not pin his team’s miserable performance to any of the usual suspects:

  • A referee
  • A pundit
  • A fellow manager
  • A bitter rival club
  • Lack of transfer activity

The five things Mourinho likes to talk about when discussing his team’s results and performances were not on the agenda last night as Mourinho failed to find a culprit for a miserably negative performance against Sevilla, who made 21 goal attempts at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Out of Date Manager

Jose Mourinho is losing the race with time. The Portuguese has stagnated as a manager when the world around him changed at an incredible pace and last night’s performance against Sevilla is the biggest proof of just how out of date with top-level football the Portuguese has become.

Having intentionally pulled his players back for a goalless draw away from home in the first leg in Spain, Mourinho’s 1970s and 1980s tactics did not yield result against the experienced Sevilla side. The Rojiblancos have been a major European force over the past couple of years and did their best to exploit United’s straight-jacket tactics at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez as the two highly-priced footballers – who are expected to be the bannermen of Manchester United – were rather poor, yet again. But the Frenchman and the Chilean bear only a part of the blame since they are just following their manager’s instructions.

Former Arsenal man Alexis Sanchez looks a stranger in the Manchester United squad. The Chilean was disposed 37 times in the first half alone, which is a worrying number for a player who is expected to make a difference on the pitch.

As far as Paul Pogba is concerned, his last-moment pass is the best way to sum up the Manchester United performance as a whole.

Does Jose Mourinho Know How to Attack?

The Portuguese likes to argue that he lacks attacking players in his squad and that he is three or four players away from having a team that would be capable of producing magical performances on the pitch.

Manchester United, however, keep investing in their squad and – without a shadow of a doubt – have players who can play good attacking football. Marcus Rashford exploiting Liverpool’s defensive frailties showed the fragments of the attacking play Man United could be playing if only they would be allowed to leave the camp set up on their 18-yard line and break the back-six line they are instructed to hold.

Jose Mourinho seems to be utilizing the same tactics Greece used to win the European Championship back in 2004 but this flash in the pan is unlikely to bring you any luck against the attack-oriented and fluent football many sides are beginning to implement across Europe.

What worries the most is the apparent lack of any strategic plan and outline going forward.

And while the organization at the back is clearly visible, Mourinho’s Manchester United are improvising upfield, wastefully attempting to bump into the solution through individual efforts in the final third.

The worst part of it seems to be Jose Mourinho’s lack of desire – or worse yet lack of knowledge and expertise – to guide his team forward.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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