What is the problem at Manchester United?

What is the problem at Manchester United?
Oct 25, 2016

by Featured Manchester United

Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have been in an almost permanent transition. The club have not been able to find the right manager for the job, despite backing each manager with incredible sums of money to spend on new players. Now, Jose Mourinho is the man in the hot seat and is experiencing the same problems his predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal had. Unable to find a settled team and unable to find a coherent play style to gel his players into. Three years of constant change of playing staff and new managers and coaches has had a detrimental affect on the club with Manchester United still soul searching for the right formula and trying to find an identity again.

The 4-0 defeat at Chelsea was yet another low point in the post Ferguson era with Manchester United embarrassed once again. A performance that epitomised everything wrong at Old Trafford. A team and squad full of overpaid players who are not as good as their wages suggest and a squad of players with weak mentalities who are not willing to fight for the shirt and give in when the going gets tough. Illuminated in the attitude of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was smiling and gladly swapping shirts after the final whistle. For a player who was invisible all game its pretty astonishing that he was able to crack a smile but doesn’t that just sum it up? The big name player, high wage culture that has engulfed Manchester United since the retirement of Sir Alex has resulted in a weak squad of players who appear to care more about their wages than fighting for the club. Any Manchester United team that loses 4-0 should be ashamed of themselves and should go over to the fans that out sang the Chelsea fans all game to thank them for the unconditional support but not one player went over to the fans they were more concerned with laughing and joking with the Chelsea players.

Under all three managers since Ferguson’s retirement it has been very hard to see what the play style of the team actually is. When you look at teams like Tottenham and Liverpool you know what their play style is but you look at this Manchester United team and you really have no idea. Of course it is early in the reign of Jose Mourinho and it takes time to get a team playing how the manager wants, but there are no signs of anything developing. It just looks like a team is put together and sent out to play to win the game in anyway possible but not in style which is the Manchester United way. Under Louis van Gaal it was a constant annoyance that players were played out of position and that has continued under Mourinho with Marcus Rashford shunted out wide and at times playing almost as a full back. Is this really how we want the best talent at the club to be deployed? It is baffling as to why these managers keep making these ridiculous decisions and fail to get a team to play in a coherent entertaining manor.

Looking at the long term strategy at the club you have to say there doesn’t appear to be one. Appointing managers who don’t have a history of longevity in Mourinho and van Gaal shows that the clubs hierarchy have been looking for instant short term success which is arguably illuminated in player recruitment too. Perhaps that is the source of all the problems at the club with a board and ownership lacking in football knowledge who run the club like a business. Is it that they don’t have any patience or interest in a long term vision under a manager like Mauricio Pochettino who arguably is the best fit for the managers job at the club. Only time will tell as to whether Jose Mourinho will get it right or if he will fall victim to the lack of direction at Old Trafford as Moyes and van Gaal did before him. Mourinho should be given as much time as possible to change the mentality and fortunes at the club, but for now at least, the soul searching continues.

 

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