Were Mourinho’s Manchester United Underrated?

By | October 31, 2022

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Manchester United have struggled to find a manager that meets Sir Alex Ferguson’s levels, which is a surprise to no one. But is Jose Mourinho’s spell in charge the closest they have come?

A league cup, a Europa League title and a second-place league finish in 2017/18 are what Man United have for Mourinho’s tenure. And Mourinho has since claimed that finishing second behind Manchester City’s “Centurian” side was one of his greatest achievements.

So, is Mourinho’s time at United underrated? Jon Mackenzie evaluates, Philippe Fenner illustrates.

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It's often said that history is written By the victors But that's not always the case Looking back on Jose mourinho's three Seasons at Manchester United it's hard To argue that it was an unmitigated Success a League Cup a Europa League Title and a second place League finish In 2017-18 are hardly the measure of What is expected of a Manchester United Manager and yet speaking in 2019 the Portuguese claimed that his Reign was Undervalued and that few people Recognize how impressive it really was Within its context So Was he right [Music] The Jose Mourinho era started out well Enough with a win against Leicester in The community shield and three wins in Three in the Premier League But they would finish sixth a full 24 Points behind that season's Champions Chelsea United had finished fourth and fifth in Previous seasons on the Louis van Hull But Mourinho also won the Europa League This season On their way to the final Manchester United faced feyenoord Zoya lugansk Fenerbache cenetian rostov and elect and Celta Vigo before coming up against iax In the final

Interestingly Manchester United only won 60 of their games in the competition That season in normal time Such as the nature of knockout football And as everyone knows the league format Is a much better indicator of consistent Performance it should come as no Surprise then that Mourinho pointed out His second place finish with Manchester United in the 2017-18 season as one of His most impressive feats How good was that season Well 2017-18 has become known more Colloquially as the Centurion season This season where Manchester City picked Up 100 points in the league Manchester United were 19 points behind Them and four points ahead of Tottenham In third After a summer which saw them sign Romanu Lukaku Nemanja Matic Alexis Sanchez and Victor Lindelof they started Well winning four of their opening seven Games by a scoreline of four nil By this point Manchester United were in The second place that would be theirs by The time the season ended But a 2-1 loss to recently promoted Huddersfield Town halted their progress And from that point onwards they never Came close to challenging Manchester City for the title Of course no one would treat one of the Greatest Seasons By A Premier League

Side as a benchmark against which Mourinho's Manchester United should be Judged and that year United did manage To beat pep guardiola's Man City in a Fine 3-2 comeback at the Etihad However if you look at the underlying Numbers for That season a slightly Different picture emerges of who the Best teams in the Premier League were Looking at the expected goal numbers From That season and sorting by expected Goal difference that is the difference Between expected goals for and expected Goals against Manchester United drop Down to fifth Now obviously the Premier League is not Decided by expected goal numbers but This does suggest that Manchester United Weren't performing at a level that Suggested that they were the second best In the league So why did they finish higher than the Teams around them Well one clue can be found by looking at The performances of David de Gea the Manchester United goalkeeper That season FB ref data suggests that The Spaniard saved his team around 8.5 Goals against what you might expect from The shots that he faced without this Over performance perhaps things would Have been different And by the end of the season signs of The inevitable decline that had been a

Staple feature of Jose mourinho's Managerial stints had already begun to Set in There had been fallouts with players Luke Shaw for example seemed to attract A lot of criticism of his manager and There were also high profile Disagreements with poor Pogba slowly but Surely these off-field issues translated Into on-field issues and by December in Mourinho's third season he was fired by The club So has history been unkind to Jose Mourinho's time at Manchester United Well in hindsight it should be mitigated By the fact that all of the managers Brought in during the post Sir Alex Ferguson era have struggled His trophy Hall certainly Remains The Best of that crop of coaches even if it Does come with caveats by the time that He'd left the club Mourinho had spent Around 400 million pounds on players Even if in a few instances he wasn't Endowed with the reinforcements he Specifically wanted in addition to which The style of football was often Unpopular And while Mourinho did enjoy some Success over near Rivals that derby win In April 2018 being a highlight the era Was still littered with disappointing Results against high-powered teams in Turn each of those was seemingly also

Replete with antagonistic moments Either in the Press Auditorium or the Technical area But that's part of what makes the period So conflicting Denying the lows the arguments the often Disappointing League performances and The often adversarial nature of Mourinho's management would be Disingenuous But then to isolate mourinho's Performance from the relative Achievements of those who proceeded and Followed him at Old Trafford would be to Do the same as it would be to ignore the Environment in which all those coaches Operated or the conclusion that each of Them in spite of their contrasting Personalities and varying footballing Beliefs has produced a disappointing Outcome If you like this video please consider Subscribing to the channel Brings you the best sports journalism in The world in a personalized experience Connecting you with the stories and Teams that you care about the most There's coverage of 13 Sports Plus Direct access to world-class journalists Through live q and A's discussions and Podcasts and you can try it now for free For 30 days by clicking the link in the Description