Manchester United seem to be falling into a bit of a crisis. Their recent results have not been great and the 2-1 loss at Huddersfield made things worse. Manchester United players lacked proper attitude on Saturday and could not fight back from two goals down. Jose Mourinho tried to shake things up in the second half but the match was already lost.
However, how much could Mourinho be put to blame for recent crisis? Talking results-wise, United are not in a real crisis. They drew 0-0 at Liverpool which is not the worst thing that could happen to a team. A 1-0 win over Benfica followed and then the first really poor result of the season occurred. However, Mourinho could be very much accused of creating a negative atmosphere around the first team in recent weeks.
Mourinho And The Negativity
First of all, his constant insistence on Man United having problems when everything actually goes well could harm his team more than he thinks. Mourinho has been spending a lot of time in press conferences complaining about many injured players and not enough about the players that are available. What that does is that the confidence of these available players could be hurt. If Mourinho is only talking about not having Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini at disposal, what does that say to Ander Herrera? Mourinho should have been emphasize what a great opportunity is upon the Spaniard, instead.
With the team play free-flowing attacking football with lots of goals scored, Mourinho should not have defended against Liverpool the way he did. He opted for a much more defensive approach, insecure about how his team would cope with Liverpool’s attacking players. Still, this is another negative approach from the Portuguese. He decided to be unsure about his players’ qualities, instead of doing the opposite and making the most out of a shaky Liverpool’s defence.
Learning From Pochettino
After all, that is exactly what Mauricio Pochettino did on Sunday. His Tottenham side absolutely destroyed Liverpool while staying defensively sound in a 4-1 win. Pochettino actually showed Mourinho how his team should have counter-attacked against a defensively poor side. Now the 0-0 draw seems worse than a week ago.
Manchester United’s midweek 1-0 win over Benfica papered over the problems the team has had in attacking areas. They won in Lisbon thanks to a mistake from an 18-year old goalkeeper. Mile Svilar made his professional debut in Champions League, becoming the youngest goalkeeper ever in the competition and his unfortunate mistake cost his team a point.
Press Conferences One Of The Problems
United were not great in that match either, especially going forwards. They lacked penetration and speed, their agility being poor as well. Mourinho was happy with a win, but he should have been even more concerned. In the end, the team went on to play Huddersfield in a terrible manner.
After the match, Mourinho blamed players’ attitude in a press conference. And while he was right about it, his approach to the problem was poor. He slammed Herrera for making comments he made in that same press conference and brought more negativity to the team. The result you get is a team filled with uncertainties and poor atmosphere. Their manager did not put enough trust in their abilities. However, in reality things are not as bad. Manchester United are second in the Premier League and comfortably top of their Champions League group.
Mourinho’s effect on the team has been quite harmful since first minor problems occurred. Now he needs to fix them and bring the clear skies above Manchester United.