Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge didn’t end well as the third game in the same week proved to be too much. His team selection and tactics were once again questioned, with fans and pundits alike disapproving of the defensive approach. It can be especially frustrating considering the attacking performances we have witnessed in games such as against Leicester and Fenerbahce earlier this week, but should Mourinho take all the blame when the team made such an early mistake? Had the team carried out the gameplan and got a narrow 1-0 win, would people not have praised Mourinho for getting a result at a ground Manchester United has struggled at for recent years? It’s hard to blame the manager purely on the tactics he had in mind, but his team selection was still highly questionable, whilst the players should also take a long hard look at themselves.
Fellaini is probably the first name to come to mind when you question the teamlist, but it was his role in the team that was even more surprising and strange. His very high positioning left Herrera with a lot of space to fill on his own without much support, and it was this that cause the breakdown in the midfield area rather than the actual selection of Fellaini. Think of the Liverpool game for example, where Fellaini was sat much deeper in the midfield giving Herrera more support for him to boss the midfield as he did so well. Hence it wasn’t the actual selection of Fellaini that led to such a dire performance, but mainly his positioning and role in the team that contributed to such a demise.
Whilst on the topic of midfielders, Pogba was a huge disappointment in the number 10 role. It was a remarkable difference from him performance against Fenerbahce midweek and just goes to show that he is not very well suited to that role. His time at Juventus also supports this with the team having lost 5 games when he was at CAM, but then not losing until March the following year after moving back to a midfield three.
It’s not just the actual performance though where I notice stark differences between Pogba and Herrera, but there are huge differences in attitude between the Spaniard and most other players. It was an embarrassment seeing the players happily swapping shirts with Chelsea having just been humiliated by them. They were lacking the anger they should have had at themselves and the result and it shows a lack of commitment and gives off the impression that they just don’t care and just want to pick up their paychecks. In my opinion, Herrera is probably one of the only players who shows the sort of passion I expect to see from a Manchester United player, regardless of whether he’s playing in a Manchester derby or against Yeovil in the FA Cup, he never fails to give 100%. The rest of the team now need to look to Herrera as a perfect example and begin to show the sort of passion the fans show.
To summarise it was an embarrassing defeat in which the gameplan went out the window 30 seconds into the game, and in which Mourinho made some questionable player selections. The players lacked the sort of passion you’d also expect to see from Manchester United players, with Herrera being the main exception, but the league isn’t won in October, as you’d probably have assumed listening to some fans, and so it’s certainly way too early to be calling for Mourinho to be sacked.