It has been a season full of ups and downs for Manchester United.
The Red Devils have enjoyed victories against the top six but at the same time lost away at three promoted clubs. Despite finishing the league in second place, a huge improvement from last season’s sixth placed finish, they also fall 19 points behind champions Manchester City providing little resistance throughout the season.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was being knocked out of the last 16 of the Champions League by Sevilla.
The F.A Cup offered Mourinho a chance to buy himself sometime away from criticisms and an opportunity to show something for this season. But after losing the final to Chelsea serious questions are being asked about Mourinho and whether he is the right man to lead United to glory.
The primary reason for appointing Mourinho in 2016 was because he was a manager who wins trophies. His primary mission was to stop Pep Guardiola and cement Manchester United’s status as the best team in England.
He is a manager, as has been said repeatedly, who has won everywhere he went. Fans may be able to put up with dull games and uninspiring football if that means trophies are guaranteed.
Despite the recurring calls about playing ‘the Man United way’ if Mourinho’s approach had delivered success there would have been very few murmurs of discontent. But that is not the case. A Europa League trophy may have filled some cracks during the first season but there is no escaping from criticisms now.
The two trophies Mourinho won in his first season have been used as an argument of how well he is doing at Man United. Until now finishing second in the league was also being brought up as a sign of progress.
These arguments are oversimplifications of a wider problem. Mourinho had the backing of the board to invest heavily in the transfer market. He has spent close to 300 million pounds in two summers but the team is not playing as a unit, not performing consistently, and we don’t even know the best eleven.
There have been reports that there will be a massive overhaul this summer. However, it is time to ask whether more signings will solve the problems.
Individual players have been picked out and blamed for some losses; surprisingly the manager was the one who did most of the scapegoating. Mourinho is responsible for the way the team plays and the understanding the players form among themselves.
Unless he shares the blame and changes or perhaps adjusts his style of play throwing money until it sticks is a futile endeavor. Next season can be a decisive one not only in terms of Mourinho extending his Manchester United but also in determining whether he is still among the elite managers in Europe.
He has proven himself in every league and club he went to, but it is time to deliver at Manchester United. Second rated trophies won’t suffice. Mourinho needs to deliver the league title and challenge in the Champions League.
He has a huge summer of planning ahead of him.
Written by Brook Genene
Follow Brook on Twitter @brookge
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