Graeme Souness slaughters Mourinho's Fellaini tactic
This is Manchester United now.
This is what Jose Mourinho does. This is how he plays. Any team he's managed over the last fifteen years has played with defending as their number one priority, so United fans shouldn't be surprised. None of us should be surprised.
What we should be surprised about is that United under Mourinho can't even defend. The team is so disjointed, from attack all the way back to the defence that they don't actually know what they're trying to do.
Listless, aimless, hopeless, rudderless. Those were the adjectives being thrown in United's and Mourinho's direction after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla on Wednesday night.
In truth, those words could be applied to United's form all season. At times, they've got away with it but that has looked more by luck than by design. This performance was a culmination of everything bad they've done this year.
Manchester United supporters pride themselves on their attacking traditions. The trailblazing identity that set them apart other teams, their ability to light up Old Trafford with a willingness to take the game to their opponents.
We could easily be building 'the United way' up to more than it actually was or is, but it sure as hell was better than how the team are playing now.
They may have spent millions upon millions on the best players from all over the world but they're not a team. They didn't do anywhere near enough, and the most worrying thing of all is that Sevilla didn't even have to be that good to beat them.
Graeme Souness saw it coming as soon as half-time. He'd watched their pointless play for too long and he knew they were in bother in this one.
"That is championship stuff," he began in the TV3 studios in Ireland.
A first half tactic, where they attempted to cut through the Sevilla defence with the groundbreaking tactic of long throw ins on to the big lad just summed it all up for him.
"They haven't shown a lot. They're playing against a very average team. For throw-ins, they put Fellaini up against a small full back, hoping he can flick it onto Lukaku, that is Championship stuff. It's not what you expect at this level. United are lucky they pulled this team. They're 6th in La Liga, 27 points behind Barcelona.
"Eric Bailly is totally out of sync from his teammates whether in possession or defending. It's been so disjointed both attacking wise and defensively.
"Man United should be dominating against this kind of opposition. They should be a lot better than this, United."
And this wasn't Souness speaking through Liverpool tinted glasses. Anybody could have said this.
"People will say that we're just being critical, my Liverpool ties, but we're not being critical. That wasn't good enough. Nothing to get you on the edge of the seat," he continued.
It only got worse after that.
This is United now.
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