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A lot has been written about Manchester United’s back-to-back 4-0 victories, and a lot has been written about the power, aggression and clinical nature of Jose Mourinho’s side.
Confident and arrogant
Whilst this is true – the physicality of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba will have something to do with the discourse on strength – what separates this United side from the one of the last few seasons is the confidence, arrogance even.
“The team was confident from the first minute”, uttered Mourinho is his post-match presser.
Confidence can be a fragile thing, especially in football. Yet this United side look capable of sustaining moments of difficulty, emerging renewed; three goals in four minutes after pressure from Swansea attests to this.
The truest test of such belief will surely come in the weeks and months ahead, when the Red Devils pit themselves against the best in Europe and the league.
Bringing back that swagger
More than a sense of assuredness on the pitch, Mourinho’s side are brimming with swagger. Swagger has become a much mocked term since its adoption by youth culture, but it resonates with Mourinho’s outfit.
“A very confident and arrogant or self-important gait or manner.” – the definition.
One only has to look to Pogba to see a living example of ‘swagger’. On the pitch, the daunting midfielder strolls and looks completely at ease – this is only because of his spatial awareness and ability to outmuscle most.
Aside from the obvious incarnation of Pogba, the likes of Marcus Rashford, who repeatedly tried new things on Saturday.
Observed religiously by defenders, Rashford was not scared of experimenting with a new piece of skill, or fancy footwork, to wriggle his way past defenders. At 19 years-old, this kind of confidence is priceless.
The ruthlessness of Lukaku, the driving pace of Anthony Martial and the guile of Henrikh Mkhitaryan all contribute to the body of swagger oozing through United.
Just like the good ole’ days
It will remind the United faithful of the days under Sir Alex Ferguson, when his sides would ease to victory; their confidence not misplaced.
It is still early days, but Mourinho will be delighted. United fans are tentatively flirting with the prospect of a 21st League title. Pundits are reconsidering their favourites for the league.
If this United side continues to play in the unabashed swagger-manner they are currently demonstrating, such hopes of silverware will be realised.
Written by Michael Jones
Follow Michael on Twitter @jonesmichael_97
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