Jose wants to blame everybody else for Man United’s poor show
The last two weeks have not been good for Jose Mourhino. He is a manager who rarely takes blame himself and looks for excuses wherever he can find them. This week he blamed the 3-1 defeat at Watford on bad refereeing, the players being still traumatised by the negative football of previous managers Loius Van Gaal and David Moyes and added for good measure that his full backs are not attacking enough which is what he has been trying to teach them on the training field. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
But he has made a big mistake and loyal fans and United board members, such as Utd legend Bobby Charlton, have been quick to remember that previous manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, never used to make up excuses after a bad performance. And would certainly never have publicly criticised his players like he did with defender Luke Shaw. Even after his worst defeat ever to Manchester City —a 6-1 beating —Ferguson refused to blame Jonny Evans for getting sent off and even defended his action on the field. So I asked several back room staff and fans this week what they thought and it seems that the faithful are, like me, dismissing Mourihno’s excuses. They feel that after spending £146million during the summer break and being at United for several months, the new manager should be getting it right, like Pep Guardiola is doing at Manchester City, and not making excuses by looking for anyone but himself to blame.
WILSHERE IS HAPPY
Southampton isn’t too far from where I live so I went down to see how Jack Wilshere is doing since being loaned out from Arsenal. Despite having two years on his Arsenal contract, Jack says he is settling in nicely, refused to talk about Arsenal and said that he is looking for a house in Southampton. He told me that he has been welcomed by Southampton fans and players and he is very happy. On his debut, he came off the bench and turned the game around for Southampton, clearly showing no effects of being sent down south.
Paul Pogba is taking time to settle at Utd. He and Marouane Fellaini have been playing together in midfield but at Juventus Pogba operated in a three player midfield, not a two player set up. He was sensational at Juve but has struggled since making his debut for United. Ex-player legend, Paul Scholes, has called for a three midfield set up to “get the best out of Pogba.” Against Watford, which United lost 3-1, Pogba, Fellaini and Rooney started together and Pogba did okay. In the second half, Mourhino moved Rooney forward and that meant Pogba was back in a two player midfield and more exposed and clearly did not warm to the task. What Mourinho needs, says Scholes, is a big experienced player who can control the midfield, a playmaker and Rooney isn’t doing that effectively any longer and Fellaini and Pogba can’t do that either. Schweinsteiger is out of favour and Michael Carrick also. So it looks like Jose might be going back into the transfer market despite spending large amounts of cash recently.
PLAYERS LOVE CONTE
One player who is much happier this season than last is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Speaking at the Cobham training ground, near my home, he was saying that he believes his return to form is entirely down to new manager Antonio Conte (however, read my next item on Conte). He believes that Conte is a great motivator and inspires him. Hazard said that unlike last season he analyses his performances by watching previous games on television and working out how to improve. Diego Costa is another who has returned to form after a dip and he too says that Conte has inspired him and the Spaniard is also encouraged by summer signings David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi. Eden said this week that everyone is pleased to see David Luiz back as he is a fighter, a “warrior” and desperately wants to win everything.