One assessment of José Mourinho’s business at the halfway
mark of the window might be that it has been underwhelming.
The manager has recruited Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk for
£52m, paid Porto £19m for Diogo Dalot and signed Lee Grant
for £1.5m from Stoke City to become his third-choice
Whether theses recruits have strengthened the squad is
arguable. At Russia 2018 Fred could not dislodge Casemiro or
Manchester City’s Fernandinho as Brazil’s defensive midfielder,
the 25-year-old failing to feature for a single second.
For United Fred’s role is to be the pivot who allows Paul Pogba
to surge forward. That pair join Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera,
Scott McTominay and Marouane Fellaini as Mourinho’s midfield
options. Yet there is a lack of stardust here, apart from Pogba,
and no natural replacement for the Frenchman if he is absent.
This is in contrast to City, where Pep Guardiola can choose
from David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay
Full-back is one of the key positions Mourinho believes has to
be improved if United are to catch their crosstown rivals. Yet
Dalot is a largely untested 19-year-old and Antonio Valencia
and Ashley Young are converted wingers who will both be 33
when the season starts. Luke Shaw appears to have lost
considerable weight via a close-season fitness regime but
remains an enigma, while Matteo Darmian may leave
an_Jersey">Anthony Sherman Jersey
along with Daley
Blind, who completed his move to Ajax on Tuesday. Mourinho,
then, may need to buy again,
with Juventus’s Alex Sandro a possible target.
This is still the biggest issue for many United fans: the stodgy
fare Mourinho’s side serve up. The complaint can be countered
by the manager claiming the Europa League and League Cup
in his first term, and finishing second last season – the best
since the title of 2013. The concern is that Mourinho’s CV
shows a career-long preference for dogmatic defence and the
approach has seemingly become more entrenched at United.
Can he, then, meld the attacking talent of Marcus Rashford,
Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis
Sánchez into a consistently potent force?
Mourinho has high hopes Sánchez will be far more formidable
following a rare close season off. Yet the Chilean’s preparation
is not aided by missing the start of the tour because of a
“personal administrative issue”, thought to be the denial of a
US visa because of Sánchez accepting a suspended prison
sentence from Spanish authorities for tax fraud this year.
The Frenchman was a standout performer in Russia and
AMEER_ABDULLAH_JERSEY.html">Ameer Abdullah Jersey
crowned his tournament with a sweet left-foot strike in the 4-2
win over Croatia in the final. This means Pogba will arrive back
next month following an enforced three-week break as a world
champion and surely in the perfect place to produce a
campaign of consistent brilliance. Still only 25 he should be the
fulcrum who runs the team, pinning opponents back and
creating openings, while weighing in with 15 goals a season.
Can he do it? Will Pogba and Mourinho improve a relationship
that has been fractured? The first question impacts on the
second: Pogba’s challenge is to ensure the answer is in the
affirmative. If it is not then United’s season may disappoint.
By May 2019 six years will have passed since Sir Alex Ferguson
landed the most recent of United’s record 20 top-division titles.
Mourinho may have secured second
last term but he ended trophy-
less and the 19-point gap to City indicates what a non-event
the race for the Premier League was. Liverpool’s dismantling of
Guardiola’s men in the Champions League quarter-finals and
the league fixture at Anfield via a fast-and-furious style seems
anathema to Mourinho, so he may need to produce a quasi-
miracle to finish ahead of City – and Liverpool. If he fails to do
so then his job will be in the balance, unless a glittering
Champions League challenge is returned. Mourinho, of course,
has only once lasted longer than three full seasons as a
le nfl jerseys cheap
jerseys from china
wholesale nfl jerseys
ap jerseys free shipping