Jose Mourinho: Why the Special One is a defensive football specialist

In what can only be described as contretemps, Mourinho has yet another injury setback.

New Premier League recruit Zlatan Ibrahimović suffered an accidental self-injury to his right knee on Thursday.

He landed awkwardly while challenging an Anderlecht defender for the ball in extra time of the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final.


Spot on with his treatment of Rashford

Manchester United won thanks to one of their emerging stars. I must admit, while watching the game I was left stunned by Rashford’s performance.

I was seconds away from performing a google search for “did Manchester United sneak a new player in during the off-season?”

I literally had to verify who it was by spotting the name on the player’s jersey.

Other games where I have watched him, he would get United’s fans excited by beating his man and getting into the final third, but his decision making was always atrocious.

Not this game, however, as Rashford showed that he had the potential to be the complete player.

Fans of FIFA Ultimate Team will be hoping he gets an upgraded 5-star skill moves in the next FIFA edition, after that wicked rabona cross that almost became an assist.

Credit to “The Special One” for the work he has done with Rashford.

He has shown a lot of faith in the young lad and has even given him the responsibility to handle set pieces on occasions.


Turning into a Mourinho side

The Red Devils are looking more like a Mourinho side with each passing game. None more so than their performance against league leaders Chelsea.

Mourinho has always been known to appreciate the defensive and physical part of football.

He is so obsessed with it that he requires it from all his players. He is also a specialist at converting attacking players into defensive safety nets.


Herrera exemplifies what Mourinho’s sides are all about

This trait is exemplified in Ander Herrera.

As a rival fan (Chelsea), I must admit United deserved that win. Maybe Conte gave the players the week off prior to the match.

If they just went in and did what they did in their last encounter against United, they would have been fine.

However, Chelsea’s performance was a 0/10 at best.

Mourinho however implemented a masterful tactical display. Herrera was everywhere Hazard was.

The other United players also filled the void that Herrera left vacant in his harassment of Hazard.

If Herrera was nominated for the Premier League’s Player of the Year, I would reluctantly vote for him because he has been that prodigious.


Obsession with the physical aspect of football

Mourinho’s mark can also be seen in Chelsea’s current Player of the Year Willian.

He made Willian a dependable protector of the backline while he still held the helm as manager of Chelsea.

His fascination on the physical aspect of football however can also lead him to make imbecilic judgements; I mean seriously why does he continue to rely on Marouane Fellaini?

I would love to observe one of United’s training sessions to see if there may be some justification to his selection. Perhaps he produces some “Messi-esque” performances during those sessions.

Not even World Cup-winning playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger could outdo the great Fellaini.


Does Mou need to tweak his style?

Whatever the case, United’s fan can only hope Fellaini pays back his Gaffer with a string of good performances thanks to his continued faith in him.

Or maybe Mourinho needs to tweak his philosophy to better suit modern day football.

Being an aspiring coach myself, I know telling a manager to change his philosophy is as good as straight up insulting him to his face.

United will probably need to win the UEFA Europa League to get into the Champions League as their hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League look unattainable.

But whether or not they manage to get that top four place, Mourinho has left his mark.


Written by Rogel Maxie

Follow Rogel on Twitter @djfresh876

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