Mourinho Has Man United Back In The Hunt


It was a bit of a nervy afternoon at Old Trafford yesterday.

Hosts Manchester United struggled to breakdown Middlesborough’s backline, had a goal chopped off and then went one down in the sixty-seventh minute.

United fans had seen it all before, their team dominate a match and then fail to gain a positive result.

But Jose Mourinho’s side had won their previous four matches in the Premier League and were undefeated in their last eleven games in all competitions.

The Red Devils have really kicked it up a gear in the winter months and look to have turned a corner.

This point was hammered home when first Anthony Martial scored an equaliser with five minutes remaining and then record buy Paul Pogba struck what would turn out to be the winner just a minute later.

The comeback was complete and United had yet another vital win in the bag.

It was the kind of turnaround that would have been expected of Man Utd back in Sir Alex Ferguson’s heyday. It’s all about belief that you can turn the screw, pile on the pressure and get the victory.

Now Man United’s turn in fortunes might not be enough to seriously challenge for the title this term, unless Chelsea suffer from a collapse and the teams currently in the top four also start to crumble.

But if they can continue this current hot-streak then it’s very conceivable that Mourinho can see his side push into the league’s coveted Champions League spots.

After the win over Boro, United are now only three points behind third placed Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s squad have declined recently and if that slump continues into 2017 then it’s hard to think that United won’t leapfrog their nearest rivals.

It seems that everyone in the United ranks is working together and Jose has finally got all his stars turning in top performances.

Veteran hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in fantastic form and he leads the line perfectly. He’s a leader, a champion and he galvanises those around him. Only Chelsea’s Diego Costa has scored more than the thirty-five year old’s twelve league strikes.

£89m returnee Pogba took a bit longer to settle back into Old Trafford life but he’s now swaggering his way through games and often looks a cut above when he has the ball at his feet. The French maestro has scored twice and made two assists in his last four appearances including that winner against Middlesbrough.

Armenian international forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan had to adapt his style, get used to the English game and persuade Mourinho to give him a chance to shine. In the last month he’s received that chance and he’s taken it with both hands. He glides across the pitch, has wonderful vision to create chances for teammates and he can score vital goals too! I can only imagine that he’ll really show off his qualities in the new year.

Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have been great and Michael Carrick has shown that experience can be a huge factor in turning around the sides fortunes.

The defence has also improved with Phil Jones showing that he may be ready to reach his full potential with the club. A special mention to Marcos Rojo who has recently came into the side and looked worthy of his place in the team.

Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw should take note of those that have kick-started their United careers in recent weeks and use it as motivation to improve and show that when they get back in the team that they can be star turns. To be fair, Martial just needs to consistently perform as he did against Boro on New Year’s Eve.

Jose Mourinho himself looks a happier man on the sidelines, now that he has found a system that gets the best out of his players. They’re playing with a fluidity and creativity that also keeps the fans wanting to see more.

Obviously more improvements need to happen, the deadwood still needs to be cleared out and one or two more new faces need to be brought in.

But at the moment the future’s looking bright for the Red Devils and momentum seems to be in their favour. The upcoming fixture against Liverpool at home on January the fifteenth could be the real acid test for this improved Manchester United side!

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