Manchester United have gone three games without a win and Jose Mourinho is already feeling the heat.
Here are six things ‘The Special One’ must do to bring the Red Devils back to winning ways:
1. Solve the Rooney puzzle
The deeper role assigned the Manchester United captain has not been productive. After five games, the statistics are not favourable to the striker. Rooney has managed only a goal, 55% shot accuracy and two assists. Mourinho must choose between benching the England captain and adjusting his role on the pitch.
2. An Effective Centre-back Pair
Chris Smalling has not lived up to his billing. Against Watford, the England centre-back struggled to contain the runs of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. The pair of Daley Blind and Eric Bailly could be the remedy for the team’s defensive woes as the duo conceded only twice in United’s opening four wins.
3. The Fear Factor
The Red Devils have become just another Premier League side. The aura of invincibility that saw them conquer Europe under Sir Alex Ferguson has disappeared. To ensure the supporters relive the happy moments, Mourinho must put the fear of Man United in opposing teams.
4. Stop the Blame Game
Mourinho appears to be repeating the very mistakes that caused his exit at Chelsea. His approach of singling out certain players for blame makes him more enemies and also ends up losing control of the dressing room. Over the weekend, Mourinho was at it again, blaming left-back Luke Shaw for Watford’s second goal.
5. Get the Best out of Pogba
Paul Pogba’s big money move from Juventus has yet to bear fruit. The midfielder is under pressure to justify his price tag. After four games, he has no goal to his credit, no assist, committed eight fouls from eight tackles and 15% shot accuracy. The task given him by Mourinho is limiting his ability to be creative in midfield.
6. Reorganise the Attackers
Mourinho’s decision to play Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford wide on the flanks is preventing United from banging in more goals. Though skillful and pacey, both players perform better as attackers than makeshift wingers.
Manchester United's Premier League title ambition is under serious threat after losing to Manchester City and Watford. Already, Jose Mourinho's nemesis, Pep Guardiola, has guided Man City to a five-game winning streak.
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