Mourinho is going through a harder time than he would have ever expected.
During his Chelsea days we had a couple of great chats at the Bridge, and knowing the real winner that he is, I can guarantee you it’s not going the way he expected.
I think his style of play hasn’t been effective because United have been conceding silly goals, and they hurt more when the team doesn’t score freely. So far this season they’ve dropped 7 points from conceding goals in the final 10 minutes of the game – more than any other team in the Premier League.
If you look at his recent results you’d find that he’s earned just 36 points from his last 30 Premier League games, which if you average out over a season would give you a finish somewhere around 13th in a typical campaign.
He has a great team on paper and if you ask any player if it would be great playing with the likes of Zlatan, Rooney and Pogba, they would always say yes. The club is great – obviously one of the biggest in the world – and they have a great manager with a brilliant record. But there has to be a better understanding.
Sometimes I wonder if people realise the struggles Sir Alex Ferguson had at the beginning of his career with Man Utd – that he transformed the team to winning ways. The team he built was great to watch and play against, dominated the Premier league for years, but it wasn’t plain sailing from the get-go.
Fergie also always had a plan B, and sometimes I think that is missing with Mourinho. I remember going to Manchester and thinking we’re in the game. They would give you the ball for 5 minutes to make you feel superior and then Roy Keane would tell the lads “let’s go” and the game could change in a flash. You would be pressed everywhere and the speed of the game would be so fast that you, as the opponent, would struggle to keep up.
Mourinho hasn’t lost his touch but when you watched how they drew their last game in injury time after giving away a clumsy penalty, you could see the frustration in Jose that he can normally control better.
He’s a man that’s all about concentration until the last minute, and if you don’t have that it could be tough for you as a player. It will be interesting to see how he will treat Marouane Fellaini. I hope things change for the better because the league is always more entertaining when more teams are competing for the title, and of course your favourite team wins it.