Manchester United Woes

Players come and go, form ebbs-and-flows but not a day goes by without a full page media spread analysing Jose Mourinho.

A football manager is considered the fulcrum of any team and, like all leaders, they are lauded in victory and blamed in defeat.

There has been a debilitating power struggle between Mourinho and Paul Pogba. Battle lines have been drawn, trenches dug and neither party seems willing to give an inch.

The negative energy caused by the on-going problems at Manchester United has spread through the team like wildfire. Not so easy to control while fighting internal politics. 

Whatever stories circulate on social media the public probably see the tip of the iceberg.

For a celebrated coach with many successes I imagine Mourinho will have tried and tested methods to resolve problems within the club. The ubiquitous nature of social media means individual player and team spats have become public. Both players and managers have used social media to their own ends, perhaps as a last resort to seek media and public support or sympathy. None of it has gone down well and it seems the situation has deteriorated. 

In a desperate and embarrassing situation Mourinho’s decisions around selections, methods and man-management have been brought into question.

The team is under-performing, lacking the flair, zest, killer instant and all-out effort to the final whistle that supporters have become accustomed to. Results do not reflect a team that finished second in the Premier League last season. The players are paid eye-watering sums but that seems to have brought about resentment rather than success.

The problems at Manchester United are intangible. It was reported that fans left before the end of a recent match while those who stayed booed; bored and despondent.

We all know the impact – positive or negative - a crowd can have. When the hostility stems from your fans it’s a major problem.

Has it come to a point of no repair?

The obvious option is for all to come together and air their grievances in an adult manner with the view to working together towards a common goal.

This is easier said than done. Egos need to be set aside and replaced by compromise.

One thing for sure – it cannot continue like this in the hope that it will sort itself out. The international break may have come at the perfect time for Mourinho to sit back and reflect. Perhaps he needs to concentrate on moulding the players he has into a top class team. And maybe the players need to set aside past grievances and start to justify their pay packets.

Whatever, this is a massive test of Mourinho’s management and leadership capabilities.