Manchester United caved-in miserably against Watford in the early
EPL kick-off game on Sunday, and questions will begin to arise about their title credentials, and their manager. The loss came a day after their neighbours, Manchester City
strolled to yet another comfortable win in a season that has already been tagged
to be the most challenging ever for the top teams. It was the third straight
loss for a United and Mourinho team, which is expected to be soaring…
The immediate assessment is that United are still without the Fear Factor which renders team
impotent with fear as soon as the Red devils ride into town. The old United team
would not play such a timid game against Watford. They dominated the second
half, but were tentative in defence as they conceded a goal, and gave away a
late penalty. Watford, or any other team would not have dared to play like this
against the old United. The addition of big
name players seem to have had no effect on Premiership teams whose pockets
are bulging with television money, and are buying name players themselves. And
these United players have not exactly done enough to cover themselves in glory.
Therefore: television money plus non-performing players equals ‘you’re my mate’ on the pitch.
The performance of the ‘god of Manchester’ and the most expensive
player in the world is the reason the smaller teams are ‘looking United in the
eye’. But while ‘the god’ has at least provided some moments of cheer, the
other alpha player seem to still be suffering from the after-effects of pre-season
dance competitions. Both need to step up, quickly before the noise that…
Jose Mourinho seem to
have lost his touch. It was a whisper last season as the blame for the poor
performance of Chelsea shifted from the body language of the players, to the
activities of the owner, while slowly strolling past the door of the
Portuguese. A few more tepid performances, and it will not be a whisper
anymore. Mourinho got the United job simply because there was still some belief
in his ability.
But given the way his team was set up in the last three
matches, and the response from the games following each loss, that currency is
diminishing fast. The story of 13 matches lost in 104 contests, and the same
number in 32 matches doesn’t read nice. And statistics don’t lie.
The one thing United need to do, is regain the fear factor and fast
too. And the only way they can do this, is by putting up awesome performances. Mourinho
needs to make the calls needed to achieve this. His reputation needs
restoration, as much as United’s.