Tame style of play
Mourinho’s tenure with Manchester United was feisty to say the least, but there was one thing which was boring, and that was the way they played. Mourinho never really settled United into a rhythm and looked more like the teams which sit at the mid of the table and enjoy being there. There was no spark in the attack, and mostly relied on goals from set pieces thanks to the towering presence of Ibrahimović at first and then Fellaini.
Mourinho was never known for his attacking flair, but his style with United was not fault proof as well. Leaks in midfield and a woeful defensive organization meant the players resorted to playing aimless long balls in hope of getting something from it.
Insignificant player development
In all fairness, player development was never Mourinho’s forte and his tenure with United showed no surprises. Rashford who has been in scintillating form with England for the past year, has been short of confidence and that has been evident in end products. Pogba and Lukaku showed signs of regression to say it delicately and the Belgian especially seems to have lost his goal sight. Pogba’s confrontation with Mourinho left no stones unturned.
Sanchez, Lindelof, Bailey are the three players swoon in by Mourinho, but somehow, they were relegated to the bench with Jones and Smalling and even Matic playing in defence.
Mourinho has always found a way with trophies, but this season turned from bad to worse. United has lost 5 games of the 19 games he was in charge and conceded 29 times and scored the exact number of times. A disappointment figure, there is more to come. Their loss to Liverpool at Anfield meant, United are not only out of the title race, but a further 11 points adrift of the top 4 spot. At times, this United team looked like a dreaded ruin with players unable to conceive what their manager wants from them.
Mourinho has based criticism always, but his bullish nature cannot undermine his disastrous mistake of starting players who seem efficient on a more personal level rather than their game.
Losing to rivals
Mourinho’s side remains the only big team who has lost to City, Liverpool, and Spurs, and drew games with Chelsea and Arsenal. The picture gets worse when you look at them in terms of goal scored and conceded. City let in 10 goals and scored a staggering 48 goals, Liverpool scored 37 times and conceded 7 only, and Chelsea scored 35 times, but let in only 14 times.
There has been no silver lining for them this season, and even Bournemouth looked far more cohesive with their attacking game albeit their defence has been lacklustre. 3-1 loss to both City and Liverpool was unbearable to say the least, and they can only thank the heavens for not conceding more than that.
The old United seems lost into oblivion
The picture of SAF nodding his head in disappointment has seared through many United hearts, and the Scottish legend summed up Mourinho’s tenure as whole. United was everything but incompetent even against the best of teams. During SAF period, players knew United to be a place to hone their skills and develop into World’s best. The regression is so bad that United fans had to chant “Attack, Attack, Attack” during one of the games this season. Players who were known to be game changer suddenly felt like scrapping hard for decent performances.
United has been left with deep scars, as the humiliating losses to big teams came with smaller teams coming to the Theatre of Dreams and grabbing points.