Jose wants to blame ev­ery­body else for Man United’s poor show

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International - DAVID BILLING­TON

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.


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.


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.

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