Manager’s Pragmatic Past Could Help Mourinho’s Man United

Old Trafford Man Utd

Manchester United returned to winning ways in the EFL Cup, beating rivals Man City 1-0 at Old Trafford.

The victory cemented my view that Man United could be best served by following manager Jose Mourinho’s more pragmatic style of football, one that he has been known for in the past.

Yes I know the United faithful would love to see the team playing the supposed ‘Manchester United Way’ but after a few years of malaise under Davie Moyes and Louis van Gaal it’s important that the side can challenge again for a ‘Top Four’ finish.

In the win over City and also in the recent goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield, Man Utd toughed it out and got the results that they needed.

At the moment I think Jose is caught in between the mindset of playing the all out attractive football and the more disciplined performances that he’s used in the past. That causes confusion in the ranks and you could see that when they collapsed against Chelsea last weekend.

Many a great team has been built on good defensive foundations and Jose needs to get things right at the back before worrying about a nice passing style of football that’s easy on the eye.

Get things solid at the back and make it extremely difficult for teams to break United down and then you’ll consistently get points.

Midfielder Ander Herrera has impressed with his defensive displays recently (well apart from the performance at Stamford Bridge). His tenacious performances have included on average three tackles a game and also plenty of interceptions. His vision to build from deep positions with a good array of passing, improves the side too.

The squad still has some deadwood that needs to be shipped out and a few more smart acquisitions to come in that can improve the pool too. But that will happen in time.

Hopefully Mourinho can find room for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his team. The Armenian maestro could kick-start Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s season if he’s able to get game time as he has the eye to create plenty of ammunition for Swedish superstar striker.

Now I’m not suggesting that Manchester United ‘park the bus’ or anything as negative as all that. They have plenty of positive players that they can call upon. They also have talented young players like Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford who are obviously ready for regular first team action.

Now going back to the ‘United Way’, I remember plenty of boring 1-0 wins for Man Utd under Sir Alex Ferguson. Don’t be fooled, yes entertaining was important but never at the detriment of winning first.

Once the team has the confidence to go into games believing that they cannot be beaten, then you give them more license to further their creative ways and become even more entertaining.

I suggest that United would be better off playing to Jose Mourinho’s former win at all costs strengths at the moment and then evolve when the times right! Rather than make a hash of it because they are in a rush.

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