Mourinho hasn’t had the desired effect that most Manchester United fans were hoping for. Afte rthree below par seasons after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the ‘Special One’ was chosen to finally get the Red Devils back on track. But it hasn’t gone to plan, yet…
Many pundits and members of the public have been very quick to write off Manchester United for a top 4 position this season, which is understandable given their start.
However, what many people seem to be forgetting is that we are only 13 games into the new Premier League season. The changes are simply not going to happen overnight, especially with the big personalities that are now in the dressing room.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic started the season well with 5 goals in his first 5 games for the club, since then the goals have dried up a bit for the Swede.
He hasn’t received as much flack as some, mainly because most of the critics have been for record signing Paul Pogba. It seems he was expected to settle in within a week and be banging in goals for fun, well news flash, he's not a striker.
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty)
I’m also not convinced he has been playing in his ideal position, which for me is central midfield. The majority of his appearances have been in de-fensive midfield, which doesn’t allow him to get forward as much as he’d like. When he does, a hole is left in front of his back four. Let's cut both of these guys a bit of slack, I’m sure we’ll be seeing exactly what these two world class players are capable of after Christmas.
In respect to whether they can finish in a Champions League spot or not, it will very much depend on if they can achieve some consistency and if/when rivals have a blip.
Chelsea are really hitting their stride just and Conte’s men are definitely a force to be reckoned with from now on.
Jurgen Klopp seems to have Liverpool finely tuned at present, with his players getting to grips with the high tempo football that he believes in.
Arsenal are always right up there and Spurs will be there or thereabouts when it comes to the top four. Finally, United’s rivals Manchester City can score goals for fun and Pep’s side are many people’s favourite for the title.
So when all is said and done, can Manchester United finish above at least two of the aforementioned teams this campaign? I highly doubt it. However in time, they will be a completely different proposition as Mourinho will have had the time to create his ideal squad.
Keep an eye out for United next year, after all, it could be a special one.