It Will be a Difficult Season for Manchester United – Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has claimed that Manchester United are in for a difficult season after his young side lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich on Sunday.
It has been a difficult pre-season for Manchester United. Jose Mourinho has publically criticised his side’s preparation for the new campaign after a number of key players were forced to miss the tour of the United States. A host of big-name stars including Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard were given extended summer breaks following their exploits at the World Cup.
United have spent most of their preseason with a squad largely consisting of youth players, but there was hope that things had changed once United secured a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in Miami last week. The Red Devils finished their preseason campaign with a scheduled match against Bayern Munich and welcomed back a host of key players including David De Gea, Marcus Rashford and new signing Fred in midfield.
Unfortunately for Mourinho’s men, it wasn’t to be, as a second-half Javi Martinez goal was enough for Bayern to secure the 1-0 win in a match the German champions had dominated.
After the 1-0 defeat, Mourinho spoke candidly with the press about the shortcomings of his current squad.
“If we don’t make our team better, it’ll be a difficult season for us,” Mourinho told MUTV.
“The other clubs who compete with us are really strong and already have fantastic teams. Or they are investing massively like Liverpool, who are buying everything and everybody.
“My CEO knows what I want, and I still have a few days to wait and see what happens.”
So far this summer, United have made just three first-team transfers. Brazilian midfielder Fred was brought in from Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported £53 million, defender Diogo Dalot was signed from Porto for £20 million, and veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant was brought in from Stoke City. They appear to be decent additions, but there are shortcomings in this Manchester United when compared to the club’s major rivals.
Manchester City had one of the best squads in Premier League history last season and had since strengthened with the signing of winger Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City. Liverpool finished six points behind United last season but have improved immensely during this transfer window. Naby Keita finally completed his move from RB Leipzig, but he wasn’t the only big-money signing. Liverpool have addressed many of the issues in their squad with the signings of goalkeeper Alisson from AS Roma, Fabinho from Monaco and Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City.
Arsenal and Chelsea have both spent big under their new managers, but it’s clear that Liverpool and Manchester City are the two sides to watch out for in the Premier League. City and Liverpool are 4/6 and 4/1, respectively to lift the Premier League title next May on Betway as of 6 August. Meanwhile, Manchester United are way out at 10/1 despite their second-place finish last season.
So, does Jose Mourinho have a point with his comments? This current Manchester United squad does have its issues with defensive problems and a severe lack of creativity in midfield but is that down to a lack of investment? Let’s take a look at the numbers. United have a net spend of almost £320 million on transfers since Mourinho joined the club in 2016 which obviously does not include the rest of the money spent in the post-Ferguson era. Liverpool have a net spend of around £170 million in the same time frame while City’s is closer to £400 million. It’s clear that their city rivals are outspending United, but things are a little different over on Merseyside.
It must be difficult for managers to prepare for a new season following a World Cup. Manchester United aren’t alone in that regard with an unusual number of players missing from both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the run-up to the new campaign.
Despite that, Mourinho’s criticism about Manchester United’s lack of spending is strange given how much the club has spent on transfers in recent seasons. The problems would have been solved not with more recruitment, but better recruitment.
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