Jose Mourinho’s pragmatism has always been evident. Fans probably remember how Jose decided to park the bus against a free flowing Manchester City side in the 2013-14 season, as Chelsea got an unlikely win at the Etihad. Against Liverpool at the Anfield, Jose stultified the Liverpool side on course to win their first league title in years. Such is the nature of Jose. He is no Pep Guardiola with dogmatic beliefs. He needs results and he has a way of getting them no matter what anyone says. While some fans may argue about United’s style under Jose, there is no doubt that, it is this ruthlessness that the Red Devils need to get back to their old ways after tumultuous last few years. Follow all the latest football scores here.
2) Cup runs and the winning mentality
While Manchester United’s performances in the league have been nowhere near the expected levels, there is no doubt that the club has progressed since Jose’s arrival. They look more eager to dive into tackles and put crosses in the box, something that was not the case under Louis Van Gaal’s tenure. Mourinho has brought that winning mentality back in the club. The club have already lifted the League Cup this season and are hot favourites to win the Europa League. If United do manage to qualify for the Champions league with two trophies in their bag, it will be a very good first season for Manchester United under Mourinho.
3) The transfer market
The club proved its mettle in the transfer market last season when despite a lack of Champions league campaign, they managed to break the world record transfer fees and also brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. While clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal have struggled to attract top players, United managed to do that without the appeal of Champions league football. The reason is simple, top players want to work with Jose Mourinho. The club have been linked with some world class players for next season such as Griezmann, Mbappe and Toni Kroos. If United continue their impressive run in the transfer market this summer, the 21st league title may well be on its way.
4) Similarity with the run Mourinho had with Chelsea in 2013-14
Manchester United’s first season has had some resemblance with Jose Mourinho’s first season during his second stint with Chelsea. Like United, Chelsea too were lingering in the Premier league. The London club had seen Di Matteo sacked despite winning the Champions league title a season before. Mourinho inherited an underwhelming squad but turned them into a force. He stabilised Chelsea defence and laid the foundations for the next season. He brought in Costa and Fabregas to strengthen the attack and midfield. The signings were crucial in Chelsea winning the league title the next season. Similarly, Jose has had a season to figure out where United’s problem lies. He has already improved their defence and midfield. Attack remains the major concern and if Jose manages to bring in Griezmann or Morata, United will be top contenders for the league title next season.
5) The unbeaten run in the league
Manchester United’s last defeat in the league came against Jose’s former club, Chelsea back in October. At that time, Mourinho was still figuring out his best playing XI. Since that defeat, the club are on an unbeaten run. While the run may perhaps be the most underwhelming unbeaten run ever, the club have showed great resolve to carve out the results. They outplayed Chelsea at Old Trafford and earned a point against Manchester City. If it were not for United’s attackers’ profligacy in front of goal, United could have easily been on at least the 3rd position. The signs are great and if United can build up on the unbeaten run next season, the fans would expect to win the premier league.