Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said that he believed it was only a matter of time before the free-scoring abilities of his side start to show themselves in the Premier League this season. United are playing well, and have been for weeks, but during that time they have drawn against Burnley, Arsenal and West Ham United. During the week, in the cup competitions, United have destroyed Feyenoord 4-0 and West Ham United 4-1 in the last fortnight, which has seen Mourinho’s side playing some of their best football. Henrikh Mkhitaryan announced his return against the Dutch giants, starting again against West Ham, assisting twice.
After the 4-1 victory over the Hammers on Wednesday, Moutinho stated that he has never had a team who created so many chances, which is a good thing, but United need to learn how to take these chances and convert them into goals, which seems to have happened on Wednesday, despite the visitors equalising with ten minutes remaining of the first half. In the second half, United took control of the game within three minutes, earning a place in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup, against Hull City. United need to transfer this fast paced, high attacking ability in the Premier League, which should increase their chances of bettering their final position this season – with a place in the top four needed to earn a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. Speaking at his press conference ahead of the trip to Goodison Park to face Everton, saying:
“I am always expecting this, especially because we are playing so well. Sometimes when you are not playing well, you are hoping that something happens for you to score a goal – a set-piece, a corner, a mistake, individual action.
“But this is not the case as we are playing so well and we are producing so much that the normal thing is to score goals and win matches. We are doing it in the cups: four against Feyenoord, four Fenerbahce, four West Ham. In the Premier League, apart from four against Leicester and three Swansea, the matches were all about zero and one.”
United will need to perform well against Everton in order to start their progress in the league, which needs to happen sooner rather than later. United sit in sixth place on twenty points with Everton just one point behind them in seventh place. Goodison Park is a ground that holds fond memories for Mourinho, he stated:
“Everton is Everton. I play against Martinez’s Everton, Moyes’s Everton and it is always difficult.
“It is always beautiful with a great crowd and a great stadium, which is historical for my country as Eusebio scored four goals in one match there during the World Cup in ’66.
“I had so many great matches there. Some of those games I lost, some I won, but always a great match. The way United is playing, combined with the way Everton always try to play, means it should be a very good match.”
United really need to start getting their season into gear. They are playing well in the UEFA Europa League, but relying on that alone to achieve a place in the Champions League could fail abruptly, ending their hopes of a place in Europe’s elite competition, and also ensuring they lose around 30% of their sponsorship deal with adidas. United have played well for the last fortnight, pulling out the stops in the cup tournaments, which is something United need to be doing in the Premier League, especially now the busy festive period is only weeks away, which is a period that matters for United and all the other clubs. Mourinho will need to ensure his strong side is ready for the next month of action, which needs to be started well with the trip to Everton, continuing their form against the Merseyside club.