Friday, September 29, 2023

Man United’s Fumble At Feyenoord | 3 Critical Lesson Jose Mourinho Would Have Learned

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism.2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

It was an all-round shoddy display from the supposed, would-be title challengers this season. An overlay of a gazillion pounds would have, you’d think, afforded a semblance of improvement in their pattern of play, their impetus going, and defensive assuredness, but lo, not all problems can be solved at money being thrown at it, as Jose Mourinho is slowly beginning to realise. Another week, another defeat, this time at Feyenoord’s De Kuip, the You’ll Never Walk Alone reverberating around the ground, when the bell tolled, would have likely set the travelling Manchester United fans’ already reddened ears, ablaze.

T4O has taken time to autopsy the 1-0 loss, and offers its inference.

#1 The Poseur Named Paul Pogba

The definition of a poseur is ‘a person who behaves affectedly in order to impress others’. And why wouldn’t he be affected, or even suffer this little crippling thing, called performance anxiety, when you have a tag of $151 million floating around like a devil on his shoulder, asking him, ‘go on, take those men on, there are only just 4 of them, you’ve levelled better, more stubborn players;” or, “hey, if Andrea (Pirlo) could you could too, have a crack at it, pick up the ball, set the tempo;” even, “PATRICK VIEIRA’S GOT NOTHING ON YOU, M*THA..” Jose may be well-advised to pull him aside, and tell him, that no, he doesn’t have to do everything on his own. Just focus on doing one thing great, the rest will fall into place.

#2 Square Pegs In Round Holes In Midfield

Paul Scholes has come out and said after United’s 1-0 loss to Feyenoord, of Paul Pogba’s need of a couple of midfield ‘controllers‘, to get the best out of the costliest player in world football. Waitaminute, so. So, with an ageing Michael Carrick, in the twilight of his career, United may have to spend more money, in order to accommodate their 89 million GBP player? Paul [the infinitely better one] is right to put forward the point, though. Pogba did have Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo who battened down the hatches, and controlled the monopoly of the midfield, to allow Pogba to raid and plunder with reckless bandon.

Jose, now, finds himself in a tactical conundrum. How he’ll get out of it, would be intriguing to see.

#3 Hold Your Tongue, Jose

Prior to the match, Jose downplayed the importance of the Europa League, saying it was an impediment to United’s season. What sort of statement of intent that sends to his players who, already, clearly, have a hard time motivating themselves? That’s a brazen lack of respect for the competition, his opponents, and most importantly, the thousand who make the travel to see their team put on, at least, a passable show worthy of United’s standards.

Regardless, of how detrimental a competition is to your chances for finishing higher up in the league, there’s a sense of responsibility you must show, being the manager of Manchester United. Jose Mourinho will have to display the maturity and the change he promised to show when taking on the helm of one of the most followed club in the world, or will be made to fall on his own sword.

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