Trying to sum up Manchester United’s season is nothing short of an impossible task. Honestly, give it a go.
One minute the Red Devils are putting Tottenham to the sword in front of a rapturous Old Trafford crowd, the next they’re stumbling over their own feet to rescue a draw with Bournemouth. Jose Mourinho must be as baffled as the next man.
With the summer signings of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, you would expect United to be sitting comfortably in the top four. That’s simply not the case though and sixth place seems utterly inescapable for the side.
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All things considered, however, Mourinho’s men have really kicked on from what proved a dire start to their campaign. Besides, the Special One had a monumental task on his hands with the drab and dry style left behind by Louis van Gaal.
In fact, the situation was so concerning that the United boss turned to desperate measures or rather they turned to him. No other than Jose Mourinho Jr. chipped in to ensure the Red Devils didn’t slide even further down the table.
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This mini-crisis emerged halfway through September with Pogba and co. on the back of two consecutive league defeats.
Speaking to The Sun, Mourinho explained the bizarre involvement: “We were in a period of a few bad results and one day he came up with some analysis on my team.
“He was obviously suffering because dad wasn’t doing well — we had lost to Watford and Man City I think — and he came with the stats of the team, I showed them to my assistants and said ‘be careful as one day this boy will take one of your places’.”
There was certainly a need for outside input, that’s for sure. United had been played off their own pitch by their city rivals before being belittled by a Watford side still finding its feet under Walter Mazzarri.
Mourinho Jr. proves an unorthodox source, however. The young Portuguese plays as a ‘keeper for Fulham’s youth academy, but clearly fancies his hand at coaching too. He’s certainly got the genes for it.
Moreover, there can be little doubting that United started to turn their season around after defeat at Vicarage Road. While the influence of Mourinho Jr. was surely minor, it coincided with an upsurge in form.
In fact, the humiliating 4-0 defeat to Chelsea in October proves the Red Devils’ only Premier League defeat since the analysis. Were Mourinho’s men to cut down the draws, they would have a strong claim for the title never mind the top four.
With Arsenal sliding down the table at an astonishing rate though, their hopes of Champions League football next year are becoming increasingly realistic. United sit just a single point behind the Gunners and have a game-in-hand to boot.
That being said, it would prove a surprise if United clambered any higher than fourth place. Something less surprising though, in light of these recent comments, may be a future in management for Mourinho Jr.
Whether you like it or not, the famous surname may not be leaving the beautiful game anytime soon.
Where do you think Manchester United will finish this season? Have YOUR say in the comment box below
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