Manchester United lost 2-1 to Manchester City in what was a frustrating derby match. Shipping two goals and looking outplayed in the first half, a team-talk seemed to have changed United’s fate in the second half, but according to an inside source at United, it was the players who gave their own lecture in the dressing room.
The source claimed that, at half-time, manager Jose Mourinho decided to let players have a couple of minutes to blow off steam before he recollected everyone and told them what they were to do in the second half. Before hauling Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard off at the interval, Mourinho implied that he made his disappointment with their performances clear.
“The hairdryer came out for the first time this season, but it had nothing to do with Jose. The players could be heard shouting and arguing amongst themselves during the interval. Jose decided to let them blow off steam for a couple of minutes. He then quietened the whole situation down and told them they also needed to calm down or the second half could be much worse. Goodness knows what it would have been like if Zlatan wasn’t handed that gift.”
Mourinho, who is notorious for hating to lose because of a poor performance from him and his men, did not seem content with United’s performance at all, despite the fact they gave City a run for their money in the second half. That was good to see from a manager because both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal would’ve been quick to point out how well United did to fight back in the second half.
Jose Mourinho wants success for the side, which also explains why he was so frustrated with Lingard and Mkhitaryan after the derby. Stating that they won’t be starting against Feyenoord, which I believe is the wrong decision in Mkhitaryan’s case, but he has a good reason for it and if Mkhitaryan has the character to play for United he will only return stronger. While I believe he was thrown into the deep end looking unfit, it seems that Mourinho has his own system of managing squad depth and that must be respected. He said this when asked:
“The performances are the deciding factor. Performances are the only way that I can decide. So if you are asking me if they are going to play against Feyenoord, then no. And it is not to punish them it is just to decide in relation to what I have, and what do I have? Their performances. So, of course, I am going to play other players.”
Mourinho’s men will be looking to bounce back and ensure that the City match was a mere banana-peel slip. Against Feyenoord, it is likely that Mourinho will be able to freshen the side with aspirations of winning the Europa League, and though United fans won’t say it now, it would be a good place to find success. Expect an entertaining encounter, with Dutch reunions, new-manager debuts and, hopefully, a win.