FEATURE: Mourinho invoking ghosts of teams past - FCNaija
EPL By: Imo-owo Mbede | 16/02/2018
Jose Mourinho’s career has been as replete with success as it has been with controversy at every club he has managed. Where tactical acumen and a strong winning mentality have been his recipe for success, his egocentric disposition has been the cancer that often eats up his alliances to controversial disintegration. This was heightened during his second spell at Chelsea Football club where the team ended up in a go-slow, leading to his sack.After getting the top job at Old Trafford – a job he long coveted – one would have thought Mourinho had learnt from his prior experiences how to better manage his own over-bloated ego as well as those of his staff. But alas, the Mourinho of old is gradually resurfacing at Carrington, just over 18 months in. After an outstanding run en route winning the Europa cup last season, Armenian playmaker, Henrikh Mkhitaryan emerged the first casualty of Mourinho’s ineptness at managing talents in time of crisis. Under Mourinho’s tutelage, Mkhitaryan’s confidence took a severe and almost permanently hit, resulting in a switch to rivals Arsenal last month.Ander Herrera – the team’s best outfield player last season – has spent more time on the bench this term, probably due to the acquisition of Nemanja Matic. But for a player who is equally effective offensively to be left on the bench when the team lacks incisiveness going forward questions the Coach’s intentions. Luke Shaw is gradually playing himself back to reckoning after a severe tongue-lashing from his coach dampened his morale, thereby lengthening an already long road to recovery from a career-threatening injury.A year ago, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were believed to be the present and future of Manchester United’s attack. Today they are struggling for consistency to stand out (like Paulo Dybala and Kylian Mbappe) because Mourinho has sentimentally stuck with Romelu Lukaku to lead the team’s attack, despite the Belgian’s insipid performances. There was great belief that in his second season, Coach Mourinho would propel United to a first Premier League crown in 5 years. Unfortunately, the team has been an inexplicable epitome of inconsistency occasionedby his egoistically illogical stance sometimes or, perhaps,sheer tactical inferiority.These all point to managerial ineptitude because it is hard to imagine that a team beaming with the aforementioned talents is struggling. Or isn’t it weird thataverage players (yes, average players!) like Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard suddenly became the leading lights in an outfit where Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford struggled?