Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience
There was plenty of expectation placed on Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United. His record as a manger coupled with the enormity of a club like United justified it.
This only grew when big name signings Zlatan Ibrahimović and Paul Pogba came along.
But, barring Ibrahimović, expectations have not been met. In fact, the very opposite has happened.
Three straight defeats in all competitions has seen the search for what is wrong at United reach fever pitch.
All blame seems to lie with the midfield who have been lacklustre and ineffective.
At the core of this is Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba sitting in front of the back four and Wayne Rooney as a deep playmaker; the trio have featured in four of United’s five league games.
United’s midfield centres on Paul Pogba – due to his price tag – and where he fits best.
For him to shine, he needs someone more defensively solid beside him and someone more influential in front of him.
Holding midfielders like Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick or Daley Blind should be given the chance to partner Pogba – particularly Blind whose passing ability and recent stint at centre back make him an ideal candidate.
As for Rooney, Mourinho’s persistence with him may eventually pay dividends. But for now, his inability to control a game’s tempo and lack of creativity in the role is hurting the team.
Playing Ander Herrera, Juan Mata or even Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who played as a No. 10 during his time at Dortmund, should be tried.
Any other team with a 3-0-2 record in the league could quietly make changes and go about their business without fanfare. But this is Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. And there are expectations to be met.