Last night I unleashed a Tweet on the world in response to a growing rumour that a small section of fans were planning to fly a ‘Mourinho Out’ banner in an upcoming fixture over Old Trafford. The rumour both saddened and angered me in equal measure and the response to the aforementioned Tweet has surfaced the same emotions.
It must be said at this point that the ‘Mourinho Out’ brigade is an incredibly small minority, but one that must be shamed nonetheless. After all, it is a complete and utter farce that any United ‘fan’ feels this way after only 10 league games.
In my Tweet I claimed that Mourinho had inherited the worst United squad in 30 years and, whilst I appreciate that this may be a little exaggerated (I’m looking at the late 80s and early 90s here), I flat out refuse to believe that the squad inherited by David Moyes in 2013 was worse than this one. Yes, I accept that it was ageing and, yes, I accept that Ferguson did not leave a squad capable of dominating for a number of years but what he did leave behind was a squad which won the Premier League the season prior. And I’m not talking about winning the Premier League with the final kick of the season (Lest We Forget), I am talking about a squad that won the Premier League title by an absolute canter…by 11 points in fact.
David Moyes took over a squad of winners. Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Carrick, Rooney, De Gea, Kagawa, Van Persie. Whichever way you look at it, this is a team that absolutely stormed the Premier League title. Please don’t tell me that that squad can go from finishing in the manner in which they did to becoming the seventh best club side in the country. Finishing in the club’s worst position of the Premier League era was not down to what Moyes inherited, it was down to his shortfalls as a manager, his inability to build on the squad during the summer (Fellaini doesn’t count) and the way he mercilessly axed the backroom staff upon his arrival.
A few even pointed out that Mourinho inherited a much better squad, containing the likes of Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Bailly. It goes without saying that these are top drawer players, but inherit them he did not. These are players that Mourinho has brought to the club to improve the team, which they undoubtedly will do.
Then I asked if not Mourinho, then who? Along came the usual suspects. Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman. None of these are available, so who else? Diego Simeone was a popular choice. Which got me thinking. How many of these ‘fans’ suggesting Simeone have sat through the utter dross in which LVG served us and then sat through an Atletico Madrid game? I’m not taking anything away from Simeone at this point, he has done a staggering job at Atletico, but he has achieved this in a way that mas made his team difficult to break down and very defensive. Do we forget that one of the biggest arguments of the LVG era was that he was playing a style of football that was alien to Manchester United fans? Diego Simeone would play an incredibly similar style.
It seems the modern day Manchester United fan has turned in to any other football fan. Spoilt, and eager for quick success. And spoilt is the key word here. Absolutely were we spoilt under Sir Alex Ferguson. The man will never be emulated and there isn’t a manager in worldwide football who is anywhere near the same level is which Fergie was. However, what we have with Jose Mourinho is the closest thing available. A man who has won the league title at every club he has managed, a man who has delivered the Champions League on two occasions, the best club manager in the world today. And, yes, before some genius points out that LVG holds a similar record, Mourinho has won these titles after 1979.
I love our club, and I love the majority of our fans. As a rule of thumb, we don’t go around grumbling for a change of manager every five minutes. I admit that I was part of the ‘LVG out’ crew, and I understand that this may seem contradictory, but it didn’t take a genius to see that change was needed in that department. Mourinho will need at least three transfer windows to sort out the mess left behind from the previous two managers. There is no quick fix, and that we will have to accept.
Whilst the result against Burnley was incredibly disappointing, we had 37 shots on goal which I believe to be a Premier League record. I’m not even sure we had 37 shots last season. Fickle fans forget that Burnley are incredibly resilient. Arsenal needed an injury time winner to edge them out whilst Liverpool fared even worse, losing 1-0, despite battering them for 90 minutes.
A suggestion for the minority. Get behind your club, get behind your manager, or go support City. We don’t want you.