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Moaning at Mourinho is such a fickle response; He is right to have a go back!

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has again had a pop at supporters of the club just days after the 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League. During the match, at the time the substitution of Marcus Rashford for Anthony Martial had been announced, sections of the Old Trafford support were booing the manager for taking off Rashford, who turned 20 today. Rashford has been one of the best players this season and has continued his rise through the Old Trafford ranks. The fact is that Rashford had not been able to change the game so a change was needed.

Perhaps if Rashford would have stayed on the pitch and United had drawn 0-0, or even suffered a late goal by Spurs, the fans who booed the change would be happy? We know that would not be the case. The fans would have then booed the manager for not making a change. I get that supporters are entitled to moan when they feel something is against what they believe in, but are we not heading into that kind of moaning territory which we, as Manchester United supporters, have mocked other club’s supporters for? What is the point in moaning anyway? Does it change the eventual outcome? No, it doesn’t.

Anthony Martial came on for Rashford in the 70th minute of the match, scoring the winning goal, assisted by a Romelu Lukaku header in the 81st minute of the match, which was job done for United, three points in the bag and four points out of a possible six against teams who finished in the top six in the Premier League last season. It makes me wonder what the moaning was actually for. It is not as if Martial has been poor this season. In the ten league matches played by United this season, Martial has played in nine, six from the bench and three as a starting player. Martial may not have scored in the matches he has started, but coming off the bench four times out of six, Martial has found a late goal.

The Frenchman came on in the 80th minute against West Ham United, scoring United’s third goal in the 4-0 victory. A week late away to Swansea, Martial was introduced in the 75th minute of the match, scoring United’s fourth goal of a 4-0 victory in the 84th minute. It was mid-September before Martial scored again in the league, coming on in the 88th minute against Everton, scoring a penalty in the 90th minute, United’s fourth goal of another 4-0 victory, then scoring against Spurs at the weekend, making it the fourth time he has come off the bench late and scored, meaning he has not scored in two substitute appearances in the league.

Scoring is not all Martial has done this season in his substitute appearances, also assisting Paul Pogba against West Ham and having another in the league against Crystal Palace, a game which he started. Seeing these stats, not to mention the other goals and assists the Frenchman has to his name in other competitions this season, it is safe to see why Mourinho risked taking Rashford off, with Martial scoring the winning goal which has, in effect, kept United five points shy of Premier League leaders Manchester City with the two clubs yet to face each other this season. Rashford cannot be burnt out this season, he will need to be rested at times, which will keep in raring to go. It is not the end of the world for him to be substituted.

Mourinho, speaking in his programme notes ahead of United’s UEFA Champions League group stage clash with Benfica, which could see the club clinch a place in the knockout stages with a victory, spoke again about the discontent which has come against him and the decision to substitute Rashford, amongst other things which the media have added, stated:

“Those are the levels of professionalism and commitment that I always want to see in every game we play. I hope tonight we can do just as good a job, take another big step towards the knockout stages of the Champions League and I hope that you enjoy the game more than some of you did against Tottenham.”

This seems to have caused another reaction amongst some supporters, who in all honesty have probably been moaning about anything and everything since the day Sir Alex Ferguson retired as the manager. Granted, there has been plenty to moan about, but Jose Mourinho has shown the club what he can do, guiding a dejected team into a team ready and able to challenge for trophies. United lifted the FA Community Shield at the start of last season, which may not be something to gloat about, but also winning a first major honour in the EFL Cup in February, the first time a United manager has won a major honour in his debut season. Mourinho also won the UEFA Europa League, the only major honour United had never won before.

Mourinho has his faults, as any manager does, but in terms of winning things, he has a proven track record. United supporters knew what they were getting before Mourinho took charge of his first Manchester United match, so moaning about his tactile approach, or lack of, is something that is pointless as everyone knew it was coming. I remember supporters moaning about a manager who did not take risks after Ferguson left the club, now Mourinho is doing just that and seems to be criticised. It makes me wonder if these moaning United supporters know what they want! The fact of the matter is Mourinho has made United a much better team, bringing in Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof (a work in progress), Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, all of whom United needed an injection of.

It is the manager of a club who ultimately makes the decisions, not the supporters. People should moan about things once they know that particular thing has caused a problem, not be reactionary and moan about something which actually was the main thing responsible for the winning goal against Spurs. Mourinho is right to criticise. United fans say they pay their hard-earned money so gave the right to criticise, Mourinho has a great track record in this game, winning league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, also following up with cup wins in those countries, also lifting the UEFA Europa League and Champions League each twice.

The fact is, Manchester United have a successful manager, a pragmatic manager, a manager who has brought in the type of player United needs at this moment in time. Trophies have arrived, and still could, United are challenging for the Premier League title, after sitting out of contention for the last four seasons. Mourinho, after Ferguson, is the best manager the club has had in the past 30 years. Booing is fickle, football supporters have grown to become fickle. Yes, things are not ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. United supporters have been spoilt with success during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, that does not mean you should moan so it becomes the norm again! When Jurgen Klopp moans it is passion and when Mourinho moans it is petulance, or at least so they say!

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