Manchester United under Jose Mourinho are very much a different side than the one under Louis van Gaal, but despite the increase of chances being created, which is a massive start after the lack of chances, pace and interesting football last season, turning those chances into goals seems to be the main problem, which some see as a lack of luck, other look further and blame the manager. That is modern football for you. There are always ‘fans’ who decide to see the problems as the manager’s fault, despite not being able to suggest why it is their fault. If you have an opinion, it is only fair that your opinion is generated by facts or information which is correct. Common sense must not be present in many people.
United have had some great periods of football this season, starting with a victory over the reigning Premier League champions in the FA Community Shield at Wembley back in August, followed by victories over Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull City, before slipping to defeats against Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford, then returning to winning ways against Northampton Town, Leicester City and Zorya Luhansk, the draws against Stoke City and Liverpool, a victory over Fenerbahçe, a heavy defeat to Chelsea. The followed more mixed results; a victory over Manchester City, a draw with Burnley, a defeat to Fenerbahçe, a victory over Swansea City, a draw with Arsenal, a thumping victory over Feyenoord and another draw, this time against West Ham United.
Manchester United need to start driving their results in favour or wins, ensuring that chances taken are turned into goals, they the game is chased and the opposition will be the ones left frustrated and heading away from the match wondering what they do to turn it all around. United are very much a work in progress, no matter how you look at it. Many will suggest a manager like Jose Mourinho should be getting results no matter what the team, but it is funny that all three managers who have followed Sir Alex Ferguson have had similar problems, with only Mourinho finding a way out of them, which will take time. Many expect a magic wand to be flicked and abracadabra, all the problems have disappeared. The real world does not work like that, not matter how many would like it to work that way.
Patience is the only thing that needs to be afforded. It is all well and good fans saying Diego Simeone or Thomas Tuchel will do better, they are opinions based on nothing but wishful thinking. I remember a year ago, just as the results were going against Louis van Gaal, Mourinho was seen as the guy to get everything working at Manchester United again, now even those who wanted him as the manager have turned against him, as their club has not improved as quickly as they expected it to. Patience is a virtue, a virtue many people lack. Instant results are the only thing some fans want, and without being backward in going forward, if that is all you seek, you are pretty shallow. Football is a sport and the only guarantee is that there are winners and losers. If you don’t like being a loser and have no patience, discontent seems to be the only way forward. Much like the child in the toy shop not getting the toy they wanted, then proceeding to stamp feet, scream and cry about it. Does that get you the toy? No!
United’s football has gained pace, intensity, and pressure. It is not yet perfect, but time will bring that. Chances are being created, which was a problem last season. That is called moving forward, no matter how negative the slant you try to put on it. Manchester United have moved forward, tried to solve problems, created more problems which need to be solved. Creating chances is a good thing. 37 shots on goal against Burnley, 17 against West Ham, numerous chances against Feyenoord with four goals being scored, it is all improvement. Manchester United are on their way back, but expecting them to challenge for the Premier League title this season was always going a bit too far. Yes, it would have been great, but it was also not meant to be. They are not out of the race yet, but it does not look good at this moment in time, especially after the draws. Turning them into wins this season would have made the world of difference, especially in that rival teams have dropped points.
Hindsight is a great thing. If we knew then what we know now, would anything have been different? Of course, it would, but would it be any better? What we need to do is get behind the team, wait for the results to come, because when they do, it will be a special kind of feeling. When Manchester United win, there is little discontent. When Manchester United lose or draw, the discontent seems rife and many seem to adopt the same stance. Manchester United want stability and longevity in order to bring back the success. What is the point in wanting success in the short term? That only satisfies for the same period. Surely if you want something enough, you are prepared to wait for it. Yes, it has been over three years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, United have won the FA Community Shield twice and the Emirates FA Cup.
Despite that not being to most supporter’s satisfaction, many clubs would give their right arm for that success. Long-term success is what is needed, especially with the ‘glory supporter’ attitude that many so-called supporters adopt. Short-term success would be wasted on them, as when that short-term has passed, they will be moaning for more.