No, I don’t think it is bad despite that the Manchester United’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic was right to say that winning the FA could be a good result for the Red Devils, but that they have had unsuccessful 2017/18 season. Why 2017/18 Premier League campaign should be considered a normal one for the Red Devils?
The success of this Manchester United team cannot be measured by its own results, but also by the quality of the other teams in the Premier League. The United’s local rivals Manchester City are having a phenomenal season in which they have lost one game so far and drawn three. If we go backwards to review the history of the Premier League, we’ll find out that there is usually only one team in each and every season since the league was formed, who could have statistics similar to the one that Manchester City have this season.
As of March 20, 2018 Manchester United have won 20 games, drawn 5 and lost 5. What actually makes United fans, experts and anyone who follows the Premier League to say that United aren’t at the same level as City this season is those 4 losses that the Red Devils had (compared to only one loss for the Pep Guardiola’s side).
Let’s see how the top of the table looked like in the previous Premier League seasons.
Premier League Season 2016/17
Chelsea have become champions with 30 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses, a result which would be more or less similar to what Manchester City would achieve this season. The runners-up last season – Tottenham recorded 26 wins, 8 draws and 4 losses, which was a remarkable results for them.
With 7 games to go (8 for some teams) it is very likely that City would loose one or two games and/or draw few.
Premier League Season 2015/16
This was the season of Leicester City. The Foxes made history and grabbed the Premier League the title with 23 wins, 12 draws and 3 losses. Arsenal ranked second with 20 wins, 11 draws and 7 losses, while Tottenham finished third with 19 wins, 13 draws and 6 losses. It was a season when each and every team in the league drawn more than 8 games, except the Norwich who finished 19th and drawn 7 games.
Premier League Season 2014/15
Chelsea won the title with 26 wins, 9 draws and 3 losses, another statistical record which would be similar (probably a little bit worse) to what Manchester City are about to achieve in the current 2017/18 season. City were runners-up themselves in 2014/15 with a record of 24 wins, 7 draws and 7 losses. Arsenal who finished thirds have had a very similar statistics – 22 wins, 9 draws and 7 losses.
Premier League Season 2013/14
this was a remarkable campaign when the the Brendan Rogers led have been very close to win the english top flight for the first time since season 1990/91. However, it was Manchester City who snatched the title with 27 wins, 5 draws and 6 losses. Liverpool themselves finished just two points short of Man City, recording 26 wins, 6 draws and 6 losses. Chelsea, managed by Jose Mourinho, finished third with 25 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses.
This was one of the seasons where there was a real competition for the Premier League title. Arsenal who finished fourth with 24 wins, 7 draws and 7 losses, have been topping the table for a long time. There have been four teams – Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City who have fought for the title, not just for the top 4.
Premier League Season 2012/13
It has been six seasons after Manchester united won their last Premier League title in 2012/13. They have recorded 28 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses in this campaign. The runners-up this season – Manchester City have had 23 wins, 9 draws and 6 losses. This was the last season when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Manchester United.
Premier League Season 2011/12
The previous Premier League campaign both Manchester united and Manchester city have recorded 28 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses, but the title when to the blue side of Manchester on goal difference.
What is wrong with Manchester United under Jose Mourinho?
The first and foremost it looks like that it is Mourinho first and United second. The Portuguese simply looks to his Manchester United management contract as another job which would prove his greatness as football manager. Instead of returning to the playing style that Alex Ferguson has introduced at Old Trafford, which is a very tactical game, but still one when United used to attack as much as possible, Jose Mourinho has introduced a cautious footballing style. Mourinho has improved Man Utd and made them much harder to beat, compared to the David Moyes and Luis Van Goal led Red Devils, but under his management Manchester United haven’t been able to recover the fear factor, they have lost after Ferguson left.
I would be wrong if I say that Manchester United are underachieving under Jose Mourinho, they don’t. They have won the UEFA Europa League and currently sit second in the Premier League table. So, formally speaking they are the second best team in the league. There is something else that looks wrong for United. It is that they do not look like the winners they were anymore. They have hired Jose Mourinho to bring the fear factor back to Old Trafford and to somehow recreate this time of football machine, which was unstoppable during the Ferguson years.
Mourinho still has done half of the job. We are about to see whether the would be able to transform the current defensively minded Man Utd formation into a winning team. For that, I’m afraid that Jose Mourinho would need to change his own attitude a bit and to start taking risks