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Mourinho Must Be Ruthless Like Guardiola To Succeed At Manchester United

Pep Guardiola looked around his Manchester City dressing room last May and he knew more was needed if he was to prove his doubters wrong and deliver success to Manchester City.

His first season had just ended; he had secured Champions League football however his new team finished the season in third position, 15 points behind Champions Chelsea. 

His first campaign had also finished trophyless.

Across the City, neighbours Manchester United had ended their domestic campaign in an embarrassing sixth place but Mourinho spared his blushes by picking up the League Cup and the Europa League.

Many predicted a battle for the title between the two old foes this campaign but in reality it was a one horse race from the moment Jose Mourinho took his Manchester United side to Anfield to face an out-of-form Liverpool and “parked the bus” going home with a point.

From that moment on, it was men against boys. The gap currently stands at 16 points with five games each to play.

Mourinho has his own methods and he will not change for anybody.  Why should he? He has more Premier League titles than Guardiola, Conte, Pochettino or Klopp put together.

Yet the embarrassing display from his side against West Brom on Sunday further rams home the point many pundits and fans alike have made all season is that Mourinho has inherited a side with many players not fit to wear the famous shirt and like the questions Guardiola faced last summer, Mourinho must now be ruthless and discard any player he feels is not worthy of calling Manchester United their club.

Guardiola shipped out Aleksander Kolarov, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernando, Nolito, Wilfried Bony, Jesus Navas, Gael Clichy and Kelechi Iheanacho last summer.  Some had been champions with City, some had become cult heroes at the club, and others had simply out stayed their welcome.  Pep knew he had to be ruthless and hope the fans would understand his reasons and trust him.

Jose Mourinho now must follow suit and move on the deadwood that have held Manchester United back since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson five years ago.  

In fact, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling (both Ferguson signings) should be fearing for their futures this summer.  Both players can be excellent on their day but Chris Smalling summed up his Manchester United career to date last weekend against Manchester City when he was easily beaten by Vincent Kompany to score the opener in the derby, just as he was in 2012, only to be the hero scoring the winner.

Phil Jones was earmarked by Sir Alex as the future of the club but injuries have blighted his Old Trafford career, as well as some dodgy performances in the red shirt. His time may be up at the club.

Both David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal have bought players that have failed to live up to expectations, just as they did as managers at the club. Mourinho has had to try to make them into players they are never going to be.

Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Marouane Fellaini have divided opinion and risk being moved on this summer with Fellaini expected to depart despite his manager wishing to keep him, perhaps knowing he will never be taken into the hearts of the Manchester United faithful.

Mourinho is still using two Ferguson signed wingers as full backs despite spending millions in his two years in the role. Admittedly, both Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have had fine seasons, both perhaps still enriched with a mental toughness their former manager installed, a quality Mourinho has so far failed to install into his fellow players

New faces need to arrive at Manchester United this summer but more importantly up to five or six current players must depart.  The club lack leaders of the quality of Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Rio Ferdinand that helped create their history, that is the first port of call for the United boss this summer. The Old Trafford faithful need to see leaders on the pitch.

Guardiola looked around his dressing room last season and he knew a large portion of the faces looking back at him were not at his or the clubs level.  The money he has spent has been well documented, especially in defence, but he has delivered.

Mourinho faces the same decisions this summer ahead of what will be his third year in charge, the year where he famously implodes where history has shown his inevitable departure occurs despite of previous success.

To avoid any such repeat next season the Portuguese must be ruthless and build a side that shows passion desire and fight, something his current side have not shown often enough this season.

Failing that, Manchester will be looking blue for the foreseeable future. 


Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.