Manchester United have endured a struggling spell of fixtures in recent weeks, including trips to Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as a league cup encounter with arch-rivals Manchester City – making Saturday’s fixture with Burnley feel like a must-win. Unfortunately, after an incredibly freakish day, Manchester United left Old Trafford with only a mere point to show for their valiant efforts.
On paper, Manchester United now sit eight points adrift of the joint league leaders, and five points from fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Yes – on paper – it’s the same old, frustrating story. But what truly matters is on the pitch, and that’s where our progress really has been made.
Manchester United registered 37 shots on goal against Burnley, 11 of which were on target – the highest number of shots in a Premier League game since Opta started recording statistics.
In contrast to Louis van Gaal’s nostalgic, toothless and boring play, we’ve become energetic, boisterous and we’re making more chances because of it. Yesterday’s result was dumbfounding; we could have very easily walked away with five or six goals, but somehow walked away with nothing.
Despite a managerial change and heavy financial investment, the team won’t transform overnight. For anyone who pays genuine attention to Manchester United, you can see the remarkable progress we’ve made in just the six months since Louis van Gaal left the club.
We need to work on our conviction, Mourinho seemingly unearthed his best eleven; it’s just a matter of time before it clicks. I find it bizarre how the media expect such substantial changes instantaneously – if it were as simple as throwing money at the problem, then surely every team would do it?
We were ready to invest time into Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, yet somehow Mourinho – despite his record – is somehow expected to return the side to the dominating side it was overnight?
Although it’s been three years since the golden Sir Alex Ferguson era, we’ve since made three significant managerial changes – of course, that’s going to stunt the development of the side!
Every great manager needs time to implement his own philosophy into a club; dynasties aren’t just made overnight, just look at how Sir Alex Ferguson began at the club.
Mourinho and his signings need time to adapt to the sheer size of the club and the issues we have at hand. We can’t buy time, and we’re not as bleak as some pundits may have you believe.
There are no frontrunners at the moment, any of the top six sides of capable of winning the Premier League – it’s the closest the league has been in a very long time.
Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating to drop points in the manner we have; it was a similar situation to our recent calamity against Stoke City. But fundamentally we’re creating chances, we’re attacking teams, something that was completely absent in the recent Louis van Gaal era. It’s just flabbergasting how unlucky and poor we’ve been in our conviction.
But the big clubs are yet to all play each other, points will be dropped, and opportunities will arise to close the gaping point gap, we’ve just got to be ruthless enough to seize them.
Whether or not we’ll win the Premiership this season I’m not too sure, but I can guarantee that we’ll be right up there by the end of the season – the signs are there, we will kick-on.
Even if we don’t reach expectations this season, we’ve got the right ingredients to succeed; it’s just a matter of time.
Moyes (clearly) should never have succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, and Louis van Gaal was never going to be a long-term option. With Mourinho – still one of the most sort after managers in world football – at the helm, with an abundance of world-class talent, and aspiring youth at his disposal, it’s simply a matter of time before United return to the heights of football.
With that, I end with the speech, which should have been intended for Jose Mourinho – the right man to follow Ferguson: