After YET ANOTHER lamentable performance of a very uninspiring season, Manchester United now find themselves going into their massive match against Liverpool on a negative. Yes it was only Fulham, but a small feel good factor was in place after their 4-1 victory the previous Saturday, but all that has now been blown away after an insipid display against Valencia on Wednesday night in the Champions League. For the record they lost 2-1, but could easily have been a heck of a lot more against a side 15th in La Liga. An all round appalling effort.
SOME CLEARLY NOT BOTHERED
It was a much changed team (from the Fulham victory) that took to the field at the Mestalla Stadium, but it was still worth over 350m+ and featured players such as Pogba, Lukaku and Fred, those 3 alone cost over 200m. Yes a different team but in my opinion not necessarily weakened, if they played with the right attitude and effort, needless to say the majority did not. Playing Marcus Rojo at left back is the one decision the manager is solely to blame for, a ridiculous one which ended after 45 minutes, though a goal had already been created through that channel, so even then it was too late.
NO CB IN SUMMER – WRONG CALL ED
One of the issues that was identified by manager, Jose Mourinho, in the summer was that a new commanding centre back was needed at the club, but he was vetoed by resident ahem, ‘football genius’ and Chief Executive, Ed Woodward. When Phil Jones, comically slid the ball pass keeper Sergio Romero for what in the end proved the crucial second Valencia goal, following on from the teams general shambolic defensive performances throughout the season, I have a feeling that the Portuguese manager had a wry smile on his face. He knew that he was right to demand a player in that central defensive position and was let down by his football idiot boss.
CARRICK AND MCKENNA
Jose Mourinho is the manager, he has a huge amount of responsibility for the poor season his team has been having, not all, but in my opinion at least 50%. However you would think he did all the coaching judging by the fact everything is his fault. On numerous occasions this season the reds of Manchester have shown a complete lack of basic football skills, passing the ball to a teammate, controlling the ball, shooting straight, tackling, I could go on to be honest. It is a wonder what actually happens on the training pitch (seemingly nothing) – but newly appointed coaches, Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna are also part of the set up, but the players don’t seem to listen to them either. Noticeably against Southampton, Carrick himself was leading the team in the warm up and was seen in a huddle giving instructions to the players. Cue a soporific first 30 minutes in which United found themselves 2-0 down, in one ear and out of the other seemingly, no mater who is telling them. If Mourinho does get the boot, there is no doubt that Carrick and McKenna should also be considered for being let go as their hands, whilst maybe not as dirty, are most definitely sullied by the shambles that Manchester United have been more often than not this season.
One things for sure, the shocking performance of the team that Mourinho put out last Wednesday means that he has minimal, if any selection dilemmas for their trip to top of the table Liverpool on Sunday (16th December). For me Eric Bailly definitely staked a claim, a man who the manager bizarrely fell out with at the end of last season (which essentially cost them the FA Cup) and then again, probably for more footballing reasons at the start of this campaign. Juan Mata, whilst not being anywhere near his best in Valencia (probably dragged down by the players who could not be bothered) deserves an opportunity to start, especially as he is an Anfield specialist and it is a place he performs well at.
LAST AND FINAL STAND?
Jose Mourinho is not liked by many people in football, I know plenty of United fans who don’t want him anywhere near the club and all the current issues are down to him and only him. He has gone to Anfield on a number of occasions and popped their bubble and how he attempts to this time will be interesting. A defeat on the other hand could be terminal, especially if the performance of his team is as woeful as it was against Valencia and on far too many occasions this season. Let’s be honest he is only in a job as we stand because United’s board are football idiots and make the majority of major sporting decisions on financials instead of what they can see with their own eyes. A bad defeat however, especially at hated rivals (who are top of the Premier League) could be the death nail. It could be a very seminal day in the recent history of the Red Devils.
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