Friday, January 22, 2021

Former Red Devil criticises Jose Mourinho, but believes he can turn club around

The Portuguese coach has been getting somewhat deserved stick from some quarters this season, what with Manchester United at eighth place in the Premier League table

Ex-United forward Louis Saha feels that Mourinho has committed mistakes while in charge of the club, but has backed him to eventually set things right. The 55-year-old has endured a disappointing start to the season, with the Red Devils currently 12 points off table topping Manchester City and seven off the Champions League places.




But Saha believes that the former Inter Milan manager has the experience and knowhow to bring an upturn in United’s fortunes over the rest of the season. “He is definitely someone who can do that,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports.

“He has got the quality, the pedigree, there is nothing wrong with that. We make mistakes as humans and he has done it. He is a grown man and he will identify where he has to improve. He doesn’t have as much margin to do it, but the club have identified they need to be stable to be consistent. It is all about results. If you win you get time, if you don’t…”

Mourinho will be hoping that his side goes on a run of positive results when his players return from international duty. United have, on paper at least, a favourable list of fixtures over the upcoming weeks and play all of the sides currently mopping up at the bottom five spots over their next seven Premier League games. However, sandwiched between these games are two potentially season-defining clashes with Arsenal and Liverpool. Paul Pogba & Co also have two crucial games in the Champions League before Christmas, and must surely know that victories over Young Boys and Valencia will secure their place in the last 16 of the tournament.

In five years at Old Trafford, Saha helped the Red Devils make the knockout stages of the Champions League on four occasions. The Frenchman was also part of the squad that clinched Europe’s elite competition in 2008. Saha scored 42 goals for United in 124 games, and won five major trophies with the club. The 40-year-old also played in the Premier League for Newcastle United, Fulham, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland.

Authors take

Mourinho must consider himself lucky that despite such poor results this season, he still retains the backing of many former players and the board. But as Saha said, the Portugese can be a wily customer when in the mood and can still oversee a change in fortunes for his wards, albeit knowing he may have to shed some of his pragmatism in order to do so.

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