Five defeats in Mourinho's opening seventeen games was not what anyone expected to be seeing from Manchester United. Genuine world-class talent had arrived to great expense in the summer to build on what was not the worst squad in the world. He directly addressed issues that had been evident during the reign of Louis Van Gaal and set to impose a bigger, angrier, more powerful Manchester United as we look to see ourselves back to the top of the table where we belong.
We started the season okay, picked up wins, Zlatan was finding the net and although there was a clear hangover in gameplay from LVG, we were doing well. The City game, half time in the City game, was a bit of a watershed moment. Ander Herrera came out in as a deep midfielder, charged with providing the spark and aggression in United's soft belly and has done so, so well, there's calls for him to be the next permanent club captain. It also signified a move from 4231 to a more fluid 433 formation, which although hasn't been a permanent move, it has seen our play evolve. Mourinho is learning. About the players, about the club, about who is willing to stand and fight and who is not. He has shown tactical fluidity in his approach in different games. Respecting the opposition and knowing, or almost knowing how we will take the three-points. But it is not there yet.
The reason it is not there yet, is the players. They are either not as good as Jose, or us, as fans, believe them to be. Possible. Or, more likely, the players are not putting in 100%. Some are. Which is always the case. But some are not. Some haven't had the opportunity, but I think that will come. Jose is not scared to drop the big names, as he shown with Wayne Rooney. If the time comes when another big name, big money striker needs to sit out, then he will do. Jose basically told us in the press conference following last night's defeat that the players are not performing to the standards he/we/they expect.
We can still make a dent in this division. But we have to put a run together and we have to start this weekend. Get behind the lads. Take it one game at a time. The teams around us will drop points. We are good enough, more than good enough. But the players have to start performing and we have to get those points on the board.
Up the reds!