Manchester United have a very good chance of finishing second in the Premier League. They can also get a silverware by defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Yet, people would rightly say that the campaign has not been a totally happy affair for the Red Devils, and the boss, Jose Mourinho, cannot but agree to that.
In particular, the Portuguese is angry with the way his players approached the games against smaller teams this season. It was the first time in years when Manchester United lost away against all three newly promoted teams. Most recently, during last weekend’s fixture, they suffered a narrow defeat at Brighton, after having lost against Huddersfield and Newcastle earlier. They also struggled to get all the points against relegated sides Stoke City and West Bromwich. In fact, the latter got the better of United at Old Trafford, much to the dismay of the home fans.
On the different side of the spectrum, Mourinho’s men have got victories against all of the top seven teams. And truth be told, United looked a different side altogether when they faced Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester City in recent times. That is specifically the point of concern for the Portuguese, and he thinks that the team should have played in a similar way when they faced the bottom half clubs.
Pointing out that Manchester United are ‘a lot’ of points behind champions Manchester City, Mourinho addressed the issue of inconsistency in his players, “Some of the people we have, they have to be more consistent in their performance and we need more quality. I trust some more than others that can bridge that gap. That’s normal. I know the players. I worked with the players for a couple of years, so I know them better than anyone.”
Mourinho further told that he has some plans for the future, and because of this mentality, some of the players are not going to make it to the next season’s squad. Although he did not reveal any names, he said, “In my squad, I have some players where I would like to have better than what I have. That’s basic.”
The gaffer was very clear on the problem, “For me, to win against all the small teams and to lose against all the big teams — when I say ‘small’ and ‘big’, forgive my basic English, I would prefer to explain it another way — but when you lose against the small teams and you win against the big teams, it’s not right. When you lose against the big teams and you win against the small teams, that is also not right. I think it’s normal that during the season, you have your low moments, but in a balanced way. When you lose against all the teams that were promoted, that doesn’t smell right for me.”
When asked about how things can change around the club, Mourinho commented, “Try to succeed in getting every player to have the same mentality as I have. To have the same mentality as I have, is to face every game in the same way.
“I am not afraid to play against the big teams and I respect the small teams, and I prepare a match against a big team in the same way I prepare a match against a small team.
“For me, the match against the big team is not different to the match against the small team. Big and small, I don’t like it [those terms], but that’s the way I can express it.”
It will be interesting to see who Mourinho chooses to sell next season, and which new players will be getting a call from the Old Trafford side.
Which players do you think Mourinho should sell? Share your thoughts in the comments below!