As the Special One prepare his first season in charge of United, there is several areas that need addressing.
What to do with Marcus Rashford
With the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a very important issue has come to the fore. Where does Marcus Rashford fit in? It’s shocking that it’s even an issue. He saved his manager’s job for months, was arguably United’s second best player last year and even went on to get a call-up for his country. Sound a little familiar?
Adnan Januzaj did all that and returned to a new manager with no place in his plans. If Jose was to do likewise, he’d be making a huge mistake. I’m not suggesting that the Wythenshawe lad play every minute, but simply that he gets at the very least equal time as the ageing and often-ineffective Swede.
Style of play
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United came fifth and that is undoubtedly what got him sacked. Months before that, however, he had lost almost every fan with his dour “style” of play.
Jose Mourinho’s style is wildly different. His teams defend stoutly and break quickly. If you asked any supporter to cite a goal as an example of what Sir Alex Ferguson was about, many would name this.
Compare that to these, all Mourinho’s work.
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However, Jose’s teams do that almost every week. With Ferguson, they trounced the minnows and occasionally did that against the big boys. The Portuguese must adapt his style if he wants to keep the fans on the side.
Memphis is undeniably talented, his problems lay much deeper than that. He is not a Bebe or a Djemba-Djemba, his struggles, it appears, are encapsulated in one word. Confidence. He started well last season but quickly declined, only reigniting against the weak teams. The indescribably poor man management of Van Gaal meant he only felt capable of doing it against the Sunderlands of this world. The aforementioned Zlatan spoke of feeling like a “terminator” working under Jose. Hopefully the can gaffer can have a similar effect on his new Dutch teammate.
Despite Louis van Gaal’s somewhat ruthless cull of United’s lesser players, there is still a number of members of the playing staff that simply aren’t fit to wear the shirt. If we’re talking about a team with Paul Pogba in it, there is no place for the likes of Marouane Fellaini.
Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Ashley Young will surely follow.
How do you solve a problem like Wayne Rooney?
Unlike Rashford or Fellaini or Memphis, there is no simple solution to this one. Selling the captain would have massive repercussions, as would dropping him, as would starting him.
Every fan will have their own opinion about what to do with the former Everton man, as I’m sure, does Mourinho. It remains to be seen what he plans to do with him but all we know is that his future does not lie in midfield.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena