I really tried to do it. Knowing the response to a bland 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League wasn’t going to elicit any positive action, and knowing how easily I get sucked into twitter garbage, I made a conscious decision to just ignore it all this morning. It was great!
Then this afternoon I came across this tweet.
There’s nothing wrong here. Rob’s tweet is 100% true. Last year Jose Mourinho spent the first four months talking about how shit his team was. Whether he was right or not (he was! but more on that later) wasn’t the point. A manager can’t do that. It’s unprofessional and it doesn’t do anyone any good.
Last year everyone agreed with that. His constantly negative press conference drew ire from everyone.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the opposite. He prefers to publicly talk his players up. That doesn’t mean behind closed doors he isn’t ripping into them. Literally every source from the club, or player that Solskjaer used to manage has said that he does into players privately. But to the media, he speaks them up because he wants to give them confidence.
Suddenly those same fans and media members are now complaining that Solskjaer is too positive and should be saying his players suck. Rob’s right, it’s the complete opposite of what people were saying last year. They’re hypocrites.
(Do I think he’s being too positive? Yes. Speak up your players all you want but when the game sucks and the team needs to be better, say it. You can say the result isn’t terrible, and let’s be clear, a 0-0 away from home in Europe during the group stages is NOT a bad result, but at least say something like we got away with a decent result but we need to improve.)
Against my better judgement I decided to click on that tweet and read the responses. Holy hell what a mistake that was.
The replies were flooded with Jose Mourinho supporters. They spoke of how Mourinho won the Europa League and finished second, while Solskjaer is getting United relegated.
For the record: Manchester United are currently 10th in the table. That’s very much not the relegation zone. They’re three points out of 4th place and four points above Aston Villa who are 18th. That makes them closer to the top four than to relegation. They also haven’t been eliminated from any Cup competition this year. But when you’re dealing with revisionist history, facts rarely matter.
Oh and another important thing. IT’S ONLY BEEN 10 GAMES.
Nevertheless, this is the mindset of a lot of the fanbase. The #OleOut crew doesn’t really care for facts, or trying to see what’s actually happening in games. They’ve created a narrative in their minds and when they watch they only see what they want to see.
That leads them to making up a lot of fake statistics.
Sure, lets just throw out 220 days because it’s a nice big number that helps prove a point. Never mind the fact that during that 220 day stretch United actually went 106 consecutive days without even playing an away game. Today it’s 220, tomorrow it’ll 221, this is horrible!
Good comparison. This is what Jose did in his first two years. Ole hasn’t been able to do that in one half a season and the first 10 games of the next one. Get rid of him.
Here’s what it comes down to. No one is saying what Jose said last year wasn’t true. It was. The players United have aren’t good enough. But a big part of that is Jose’s fault.
Mourinho spent last summer crying out for a center back, but he signed center backs in each of his two seasons! It’s a totally understandable reaction from the board to say “wait, we signed you center backs in each of the last two years, why don’t you actually coach them and make them better since YOU asked for them?”
Look at the other players he signed. An aging Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That was always supposed to be a short term signing and when it was made you knew in three years he wouldn’t be around. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he was good for about five weeks and is still very mediocre at Arsenal. If he were still here would he be helping or would he just be part of the problem? Mourinho signed him too.
Romelu Lukaku, not at the club anymore. Alexis Sanchez? He was a completely unnecessary piece. When he was signed Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial had combined for over 20 goals that season. Sanchez came in, Rashford and Martial went to the bench, and United’s shots and goals per game went down.
United have long known they needed a central midfielder to replace Michael Carrick. What did Mourinho do, he sold Daley Blind, the player with the skillset that most compares to Carrick because he’s undersized and Mourinho prefers midfielders who are big.
If you’re going to say to me, well Blind is painfully slow, guess what, so is Nemanja Matic.
Speaking of Matic. Everyone will admit he’s part of the problem too. He’s old, he’s slow, he’s just not that good. Well guess who decided to spend £40 million to sign him JUST TWO YEARS AGO? When we signed him we knew he would be a liability in three years time. But Mourinho didn’t care because he knew he wouldn’t be at Old Trafford in three years having to deal with it.
To say that throwing his players under the bus was fine because he was winning is ridiculous. Every job it’s the same thing. He spends the first year saying all the right things and making everyone think this time will be different. He gets success. In year two he gets success again, but, and usually it’s right around when he gets a contract renewal, he starts to get a little grumpy and talking about how he’s not being supported. Then in year three he goes off the rails.
Last year was classic year three Mourinho. He threw everyone under the bus and had the players quit on him. His method was no longer working as United had gotten off to their worst Premier League start ever (yes this year they’re off to a worse start but again, it’s only been seven games – not 18 – it could get better, it could get worse).
Mourinho did finish second with this pretty shit United team but before we start heaping praise on Mourinho let’s look at what actually happened that year.
Liverpool were still in building mode. They weren’t ready to compete yet. Arsenal were lifelessly going through Arsene Wenger’s final year. Chelsea were busy quitting on their manager.
And don’t forget the most important aspect of it all. That team massively overachieved. United finished that season with 81 points but their xPTS suggested they should have only had around 62. That’s a whopping 19 point difference and would have seen them finish 6th!
How did they overachieve so much? You can thank this guy.
In terms of xPTS, 2017/18 was United’s worst season under Mourinho. That year United’s xGA was 43.54, but thanks to a historical season from David de Gea, they only conceded 28. It’s only thanks to De Gea that “Mourinho” finished second with this team.
Ed Woodward is obviously a massive problem for United, but Jose Mourinho didn’t help. Part of the mess United are in is his fault. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer inherited that mess and is now set on trying to clean it up.
That will take time. Far more than 10 games. He may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re going to turn on him, at least find some facts to back up the ridiculous narratives and revisionist history the Jose Mourinho stans are creating. I’ve got news for you, it’s not going to be easy to find facts that back you up.