Jose Mourinho Still Bossing It At Manchester United

I remember slating PSG manager Unai Emery earlier in the season for not picking a penalty kick taker and leaving it up to his strikers to pick between themselves. An on the pitch argument ensued between Neymar and Edinson Cavani, with the Uruguayan forward winning the debate but missing the spot kick.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t praise Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho after he had the balls to decide on who to take his side’s penalty kick against Benfica in the Champions League this midweek.

United had already missed a pen, Frenchman Anthony Martial had his kick was saved by impressive teenage keeper Mile Svilar, when they were awarded another spot kick in the second half.

The club’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku seemed intent on taking the shot from twelve yards but he was then talked out of it by an eager Ander Herrera. Then just when it seemed as though the Spaniard was about to take the important kick, word came from the dugout stating that the Man Utd manager wanted Dutch utility man Daley Blind to take the vital penalty.

Obviously the Portuguese gaffer’s word was final as it was indeed Blind who took and scored the penalty kick, which he drilled low, straight down the middle of goal and left Benfica’s Belgian goalkeeper frustrated.

The goal gave Man United their 2-0 victory and they’re now on the verge of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

Mourinho showed that he’s still very much the boss at Old Trafford. Egos on the field disappeared when his word reached them. He showed backbone and wasn’t scared to upset the others who wanted the responsibility of taking the kick. He didn’t shrink from the issue like Emery had done in France.

We know that Jose and his disciplined ways have rubbed squads the wrong way in the past, specifically Chelsea circa 2015 and Real Madrid circa 2013 but his intervention on Tuesday night shows that he clearly has the United side’s backing.

I also think there was reasoning behind his decision. For instance, I think he was worried about Lukaku missing the pen and what that would do to his main striker’s confidence.

The fifty-four year old said as much afterwards:

“I’m the manager and I make the decisions and he missed the last one.

“I want him to take a penalty when there is no pressure, there is no responsibility and there is no need to score the goal.”

Man United are trying to chase down rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, to help with that they will probably need get a positive result against Jose’s former side Chelsea this Sunday.

If they are going to come away with any points at Stamford Bridge, then it will be because the United squad have followed Jose Mourinho’s instructions to the letter.

The Portuguese manager is once again showing he has the qualities to build strong foundations and get his players ready for all the challenges that are being thrown at them in this hectic period.

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