Jose Mourinho is furious at his team and this can easily be noted in the way the manager spoke to the press after the game. Besides the mind games, the reactions behind the line clearly showed a nervous Jose that wasn’t happy with the way the team was reacting and we, as fans can agree that the Portuguese is right, as it’s been three games in the row where the team hasn’t delivered and also the players have looked comfortable pulling a poor performance, especially in the first half.
One of the issues that this team was having in the recent games is the obsession with that unbeaten streak that came to an end last night. It surely did matter a lot, as the players were excited about the EFL Cup final, while on the other side, sad about that the streak was over. So, against Liverpool, Stoke and now against Hull, United were playing really poor, and the only time they would think about getting back on the game was after the opponent had already taken the lead. You can blame the manager for picking that specific lineup, somehow controversial, as Darmian surely is a big doubt with him playing average, lacking quality at times.
It’s true that we have been moaning for several changes happening, with Martial not in the team once again, the fear that Ibrahimovic is feeling tired or Paul Pogba only delivering against small teams. Big issues around, as despite being a cup match, Jose picked a strong team and they didn’t respond well. This whole thing started against Liverpool. Excitement was obvious as the English derby would define whether United would be back in the title war and many of us expected more from the team. As it has become sort of a courtesy, the team started the game really slow, and even though Liverpool hadn’t picked their best lineup they were putting United in a big difficulty which was unexpected for many of United supporters.
Paul Pogba, the one who was supposed to deliver had a bizarre match and it wasn’t just the penalty but the way he got into the game afterwards. Things clearly seemed a little bit better as United leveled with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who else but him? We all adore the Big Swede, but the team has become dependent on the way he will perform as he alone has been involved in the 42% of the goals United have scored in all competitions during this season. With Zlatan being quiet in the past games, so it has been the United attack. No movement and the game seems dead.
What makes things even worse is the fact as stated above, the players are getting comfortable with the way things go into the games. Starting really slow, giving the opponent several chances to score, going through the same thing all over again. Liverpool scores a penalty, Stoke City benefits from the chaos created in United’s final third while Hull won an undeserved penalty that saw them through. It seems the same scenario and indeed is, as Manchester United have written this themselves. Maybe it’s the half time talk that changes things around but it’s been frustrating for the fans, watching the team throwing things away.
Luckily we have a manager that isn’t satisfied with draws and the Jose treatment is on the way. First it was Henrikh Mkhitaryan who went through this and now it’s time for Anthony Martial to go through the same thing. For all of those that may have a short memory on how things were at the time, let me remind you a few things that were going at the time. The team wasn’t performing, the lineup was the same and despite the fact that the Armenian was declared fit he would go missing on match day. The whole Martial issue seems familiar, right? Let’s not forget the press, they adore us and that’s why they have been constantly inventing news about the possible fight between the French and the manager. Mkhitaryan handed a transfer request, remember?
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the Jose treatment you get for not being determined in what you love to do. Two games in a row where his energy was needed and no sign of him. Remember how we were all begging to the Portuguese to play Mkhitaryan? Now it’s time Martial time. Jose seems to have found the right moment to do this, a match cup in the weekend against Wigan. It is the perfect wake up call. Warren Joyce back at Old Trafford and it’s the FA Cup, so everything can happen. No more boring performances from United and the consequences will be harsh if we keep dragging things around like this.
Possession means nothing if you’re not leading and that isn’t rocket science. Passing, moving, going through the middle yet there is no one to deliver, it seems like we are back to Louis van Gaal once again. This is a crucial stage where every result matters and what would have happened if Pogba hadn’t scored? We would be kicked out of the Cup final.
This isn’t just a wake up call for the players but for the manager as well. As mentioned, a few decisions Jose has made have definitely irritated a us a lot. Insisting on playing Darmian whether left or right and him giving the same response as always, performing horribly. Luke Shaw is waiting on the bench to get his chance while other players sit there and watch. Jose is fully aware of the left back problem United have and is trying to adapt Daley Blind in that position, but simply isn’t working.
Things are getting harder now and the way we lost was fully deserved. Luck won’t always be on our side and the team, especially the players should understand this. The referees are an old subject now and the decisions against us will continue. That’s why they should forget all about it and concentrate on the very next game. It should be done this way or problems will continue once again.