Manchester United draw 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League this afternoon, their sixth draw this season, the third in a row in the league. United played well, at times, and seemed to do everything that was needed to get the result, despite that being touch and go with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike, which just crossed the line after Anthony Martial assisted the effort. United went into the break 1-0 up and looking to have some words of inspiration from manager Jose Mourinho. In the second half, United, despite trying to find a second goal, were this time, denied by the post, something which favoured Zlatan’s effort. United were going into the final minutes of the match with a lead that did not instil many with confidence, for the right reasons.
For twenty minutes, United sat back and left Everton to take the game to them, looking very shaky at times. Marcus Rashford replaced Martial and Marouane Fellaini replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan. It was the big Belgian who allowed his former team to get back into the match, giving them a penalty, which was slotted coolly into the back of the net by Leighton Baines. United were taken advantage of when they should have been the ones taking the advantage. Manchester City and Liverpool dropped points this weekend, so did United. The Premier League is going to be frustrating whereas the cup competitions seem to be United’s chance of glory, this season at least.
Marouane Fellaini has to leave Old Trafford, for good!
Ever since the summer of 2013 when David Moyes brought Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford for £27.5 million, even though he was available for less earlier that summer, nothing suggests it was a panic buy much more than that! That summer, United were linked with Cesc Fabregas, Kevin Strootman, Toni Kroos and others. The midfield needed significant reinforcement. Fellaini was the only purchase, something which left United wide open, and possible a reason why Moyes failed at the club. Fellaini seems to have had a long career at the Theatre of Dreams, much of that time with supporters against him. Some call him a tree, other just plain useless. That is something he defined himself as against his former club. Fellaini is not a defensive midfielder, not really an attacking midfielder, not really a Manchester United player. He does have his uses, but under Jose Mourinho, Fellaini is lucky to still be at the club.
United have been blessed with midfielders; Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. How Fellaini gets the nod ahead of any of those leads me to believe that football is here to punish me for something I have done, be it in this life, or a past life. Marouane Fellaini needs to be sold, United need to utilise midfielders they have at the club, or bring ones in who do a job. Fosu-Mensah could get away with some mistake Fellaini has made, he is learning and mistakes help you learn. Fellaini seems to be rewarded with more game time than he deserves. To say I am annoyed that United have in effect been removed from a Premier League challenge this season, not to mention the race for a top four position. That is not all down to Fellaini himself, but United today were winning and the Belgian messed it up. United are at fault for other things, which can be read below.
Defensive football is not the Manchester United way
Manchester United are known for swashbuckling attacking football, known for the saying, the best form of defence is attack. Over the past three years, United have not been known by the terms they were previously. Whilst that has started to improve under Jose Mourinho, and I know it cannot develop into what it once was for a matter of time, playing the way they played today, United just seemed capable of letting a slight 1-0 lead fall, as has been the case in the Premier League for the past three matches now, six in total this year – most of those at home. A draw is better than a defeat, but in the way they have been earned against Arsenal and Everton, those draws seem like defeats. United have been playing attacking, somewhat swashbuckling football in the UEFA Europa League and the EFL Cup recently, but that sort of style is proving to be a hard task in the Premier League.
A week ago, United draw 1-1 with West Ham United, conceding in the first two minutes, then equalising twenty minutes of so later. Against the same team in the EFL Cup, it was United who took the lead inside two minutes, with an equaliser coming ten minutes before half-time. During the break, something much has been said as United came out raring to go, reestablishing the lead inside three minutes, scoring twice more in the second half to win by a 4-1 scoreline. That is something that needs to be done in the league, but three matches in a row, the same story is being told. United create chances but have not been taking them. Something needs to give, or there will be a time, in the not too distant future, that a top-four place will be unobtainable, and they, United have one option to earn a UEFA Champions League place, which needs to be secured of the club will be hit where it hurts, in the pockets.
Manchester United are not a bad team. Granted there are some discrepancies within the team – which need solving sooner, rather than later. Jose Mourinho is a talented manager up against it. It was never going to be easy for anyone to take the managerial hot seat at Old Trafford, especially after the past three seasons. Many seemed to expect Mourinho to click his fingers and all will return to what it was under Sir Alex Ferguson. Whilst that would be great, it is not likely to happen. The Ferguson era ended in 2013 and it will not be back again, not in that way at least. Mourinho is the manager, he needs to be afforded the time to make the changes needed. Seeing people call for him to be sacked after a draw or a defeat is getting to be pathetic. It makes me wonder if Ferguson came back, lost a match, would he be subjected to the same glory supporter response? I reckon he would, as many seem to have become fickle about the game.
Most fans out there cannot accept anything less than a win and seem to push for that each time United play. In the real world, winning every match would be plain boring, albeit nice for a while, especially after the last three years of bewilderment. Football is a game, yes it is a serious game for all of us, but making yourself look like a fickle glory supporting moron by calling for the manager to be sacked is just pathetic. When are people going to realise that sacking a manager after a defeat is going to sink the club into oblivion, even more, making the job so much harder. David Moyes had a job three years ago, he needed time to bring Manchester United back, he was then sacked. Louis van Gaal came and went in less than two years, he also needed time, with some wishing Moyes was given the chance. Now Mourinho is here, he was wanted my millions of supporters last Christmas, he’s here now and the same people who wanted him are not calling time on his appointment.
I am glad supporters have no say in appointments, as you think United are in a mess now, have a think about what they could have become. It is time for patience in the manager, allow him to do his job, get the work done, let him bring Manchester United back. Calling for him to be sacked is childish, pathetic and just so spoilt. If that is something you cannot do, perhaps you should find another club, say Manchester City and see just how well the greatest manager in the world is getting on over there. Nothing ever goes to plan, if it does, it is only a matter of time before a spanner gets thrown into the works. Mourinho is big enough to bring United back from the brink, lots of things have been achieved already this season. Give it time and I am sure you will be grateful for the work he has put into getting Manchester United to the top again. Save your fickle nature for the silence of your own mind!