Manchester United needs to target more success, says Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the club needs to earn a bit more success under his guidance in the coming years. Mourinho became the first United manager to win a major honour in their first season by lifting the EFL Cup at Wembley after beating Southampton last season. He also ended that season by winning the UEFA Europa League, the only major honour United had not won in the history of the club, earning a place in the UEFA Champions League this season.

United have not done too badly this season, despite sitting out of the Premier League title race for the last four or five months, being knocked out of the Carabao Cup in December and exiting the Champions League at the round of 16 stage, after being beaten by Sevilla, there has been some progress. In the Premier League, United last five times last season, drawing a further 15 times. This season, the squad has turned the majority of those draws into wins, scored more goals and have the second-best defence in the league.

United are now five points clear of third-placed Liverpool and highly likely to finish second in the league this season, the first time they have finished so high in the years after Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Despite having three more matches to play in the league this season, Mourinho’s side earned an Emirates FA Cup final appearance after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley last weekend, meaning they have a chance to end the season on a high, with another trophy.

In the past five weeks or so, United have shown their improvement even more by beating Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal in the Premier League, also beating Spurs in the FA Cup, meaning they had beaten all five of the other top six clubs in this time. Last season, it was not so easy for United against any of these teams. Some supporters will moan that second should not be an option for United but only one team can win the league. Success is aimed for, not guaranteed. Speaking after the victory over Arsenal, Mourinho said:

“I think if we finish second it’s the first time for five years, since Sir Alex left. OK, progress, progress at many levels, but not enough to be first instead of second, and not enough to win the Champions League instead of the Europa League. But enough to be stable, win some trophies, reach some finals, but we need more.”

Next season, the third of the Mourinho era, it will be important to kick on and challenge Manchester City to regain the Premier League title. Personally, I see it as a more important trophy to win than the Champions League, although I would take the European crown as a successful end to a season, as any football supporter would. Competing against Pep Guardiola’s City side is going to be the one thing Mourinho will need to take by the horns and go against.

United beat City recently, dominating in the second half, after being dominated themselves in the first. Some say it was luck, but you make your own luck in football. Some ABUs state that David De Gea is the reason United are second in the league but the logic to that astounds me. De Gea has not been single-handedly scoring all the goals United have scored, just saving their blushes by making brilliant saves, which shows it is not just because of him at all. Some football supporters are bitter.

Mourinho was asked if the Premier League will be prioritised ahead of the Champions League next season, with United qualifying for the elite European competition next season after their 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday. Mourinho spoke about the importance of winning league titles, then the importance of the Champions League. Both are equally important and if you have a chance of either or both, you take it. Mourinho said:

“I think we always say the most important is the one you win. When I won the Champions League I say the Champions League is most important for me. When I won the leagues, the leagues were more important for me.”

Mourinho then, jokingly, added:

“And when I win nothing, I say winning is not important!”

Mourinho is a good manager for United, no matter what the #MourinhoOut brigade suggest. You only seem to hear from them after a defeat these days, meaning they should be checked upon after not being heard of since United lost to West Bromwich Albion over a fortnight ago. When you have supporters who only seem to be vocal after a defeat, saying nothing after a victory, you wonder what it is all about. Yes, there are some who are still vocal about Mourinho, or any manager, all the time, but more so after a defeat, or a poor draw.

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copyright: JW

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