Becoming the first Manchester United manager to win a trophy in his first season at the club, Jose Mourinho and his men are heading into the right direction despite currently sitting in fifth place within the Premier League.
Although the EFL Cup is not seen as a major honour to be proud of, it has helped the team to get back into winning spirit and has shown some concrete evidence that the Red Devils have found the perfect man to lead them forward as a club.
The fact that United are on an 18-match unbeaten run in the league and are still competing for the Europa League, should feel like the beginning of a new chapter that could last.
There are still some fans who aren’t convinced that Mourinho is the right manager to take the team back to the top and feel that it was his fault that the club are not challenging for the league title right now.
Nevertheless, he has already done more than what David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal had achieved put together during their time at Old Trafford.
The important impact of the summer signings
The signings made by Moyes and Van Gaal were decent, on the other hand, both managers failed to utilise them to their strength which caused a lot of problems before they were sacked. Players like Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata did not thrive instantly but are now playing an integral role under Mourinho.
Looking at the new faces that arrived at Old Trafford, all four of them have more or less been in the starting XI when they are fit to play. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a tough first few months settling into life at Manchester, however, he dealt with the manager’s decision of leaving him out of the match-day squad by working harder and harder in training before he was given his chance to prove himself once again.
Although the fans are still expecting more from Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the pair have gotten into their groove since the side’s turnaround from November but still have a few minor flaws to their games, such as being clinical and making the chances count in home games. The former is currently the side’s top goal-scorer in all competitions and has been heavily relied on all season.
Compared to recent years, after the Sir Alex Ferguson era, when the club were splashing the cash on players without an ideal strategy, Mourinho’s transfer business has helped in general and the team will benefit from it in the long run.
Possibility of winning the double
After winning the EFL Cup, the potential double is still up for cards as Manchester United are currently in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. It may seem unlikely for the team to complete the double, but they have the necessary squad depth to make it happen.
With the recent comments from the players regarding to completing the potential double of cup success, there’s no doubt that Mourinho will want to end his first season at Old Trafford in a high note and he’ll need to utilise his squad effectively game by game in order to do so.
Having won 11 of the 13 major finals he has been in throughout his managerial career, Mourinho still remains as the special one as he aims to take Manchester United back to the pinnacle of English football. For now, the short-term target for the boss is to bring Champions League nights back to Old Trafford.
At the end of the day, the manager has ruled out a comeback of any sorts to compete for the league title, which could leave him with the choice of focusing on the main competition that they have a good chance of winning. If you have learnt anything about the Portuguese international during his time in England is that he is a born winner and wants to win every cup that is up for grabs.
Mourinho learning from his mistakes
Whilst Mourinho was managing Chelsea and Real Madrid, things did not go well as he lost the dressing room at both respective clubs and the board had no choice but to sack him. However, so far with the Red Devils, the outcome has been different as each individual has been full of praises towards the manager.
At one stage of the season, the fans had felt that he had something against the likes of Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, since they were not used by him on a regular basis. However, the pair was not consistently performing at their best and the Mourinho treatment looks to have paid off in recent weeks. Now Luke Shaw is facing the same situation, but is starting to win over the boss.
One of the key factors towards United’s turnaround has been due to his decision of dropping the Wayne Rooney, which was something that Moyes and Van Gaal failed to do as the captain’s presence in the starting XI prevented the side from progressing forward in general. Despite winning nearly every honour that he has played for, the 31-year-old’s time at the club is unfortunately coming to an end.
Realising that footballers have started to become powerful these days and managers have to keep up with them, Mourinho has also adapted to the Manchester United way to appease the fans. The question popped up after he was announced as the club’s manager, whether he would suit the style of the Red Devil’s or not, and he should now receive the credit that he deserves for doing so.