Three talking points from Manchester United’s meek surrender at the hands of Spurs
Well, this was supposed to be the night for Manchester United to turn a corner after their humbling defeat last week. But as it turned out, Jose Mourinho’s men endured another morale-sapping loss at home to a very good Tottenham Hotspur team.
The Red Devils were better of the two in the first half, and striker Romelu Lukaku should have scored that open goal. However, Spurs came back into the game late in the opening period before taking full control in the second half.
A brace from Lucas Moura after Harry Kane’s fantastic header puts Mauricio Pochettino’s men in dreamland. For Mourinho, the attritionality continues, his team looks disjointed, and one may wonder – what next?
Hera are the three talking points from a game which will resonate around the world:
1) Jose got it wrong with Herrera
First of all, playing at home against a near rival and fielding three defensive minded midfielders didn’t really make sense but as they say, it is the “Mourinho way.” Ander Herrera was apparently deployed on the right-hand side of the back-three which looked all over the place throughout the game.
It is not the Spaniard’s fault to be at a point of no communication with either of Phil Jones or Chris Smalling, rather it should be up to the manager to drill them into that system before deploying. As the game went on, it felt like Herrera was just told to be an extra body in the defence without any rehearsal during the week. So, we can say it was a gamble that didn’t pay off.
That difference between Herrera and other players while creating an offside trap sums up what has been said above. It was just amateur stuff in all honesty.
2) Pochettino surprised everyone with Moura’s position
Almost everyone expected Lucas Moura to play on either wing and look to break from the channel runs. However, there was one man who thought about this differently – and that was Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentine was clever here, as he knew Harry Kane doesn’t have the pace to make runs in behind on the break. So he put Moura alongside the England captain, just so that the latter takes different positions to win the physical battles, and the former makes probing runs to cause trouble.
It paid off to an absolute perfection with the former PSG man scoring a brace at Old Trafford by combining well with Kane.
3) What next for Mourinho?
Oh the third season bite is back at it for Mourinho and the plot thickens on the negative once again. Can we actually see him last the season? Will United sack him after giving a mega new contract in January? Questions are aplenty and there seem to be no answer for any of them.
Whatever it is, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is toxic and something drastic needs to be done as soon as possible.