When Injuries And Suspensions Hit, José Mourinho’s Manchester United Squad Is Just Not Good Enough

Posted: April 1, 2017 in Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Many people expect Manchester United to strengthen their squad during the Summer transfer window. It is not, however, just a question of getting numbers in.

Louis van Gaal tried the scatter-gun approach when spending almost £250 million and for that amount United have actually ended up with Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw, with the latter two about to be sold as soon as possible. So the outlay has netted just three players who are probably worth a total of £80 million in today’s inflated market.

José Mourinho adopted a far more sensible approach and, for slightly less money, brought in four world-class players. He has to do a similar job again this time around.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are now both injured. For Jones this is not a new experience and this latest injury should be the last one he suffers whilst a Manchester United player. Fully fit, he is a decent squad player who can come in when another is injured. The problem is that he is very rarely fully fit and the time to move him on is long overdue.

Smalling, injured or otherwise, is not of the calibre required at a club like United and is another who should be moved on. They both need replacing with top quality centre backs.

Juan Mata is now injured and, reportedly, out for the rest of the season. This is more of a blow as he was playing well and in line to be named player of the season instead of the normally annual choice, David De Gea.

Mata does not need replacing. He does, however, need a decent back-up. With Scheinsteiger having joined Schneiderlin on the list of ex-Manchester United players the midfield is looking a little thinner than was the case. Jesse Lingard is not the answer. Despite his occasional flashy goal, he does little else to merit a place in the team and is another who should be sold.

Paul Pogba should regain fitness in the very near future which would relieve some of the pressure on the others but, again, he has quickly become difficult to replace when out of the team. Another midfielder of quality should be on the shopping list.

Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will both return from suspension after the West Brom game which will further alleviate the problems.

Zlatan, however, is not guaranteed to be there next season and, even if he is, he will not spend more than one extra year at United so plans for his replacement should already be at an advanced stage.

Finally, there is still the possibility that David De Gea will go to Real Madrid and contingency plans need to be put in place should this actually happen. We here at WSA are sure José has someone in mind should De Gea decide to return to his homeland.

All in all, this Manchester United team has, despite all the drawn games, over-achieved this season and Mourinho has done what he does best. He has taken an unfancied group of players and got them playing to a standard whereby they are always in with a chance of winning a cup.

Collectively they are not good enough to win the Premier League which requires a level of consistency over 38 games that is currently beyond this team. With two or three additions all this would change and United would become realistic contenders next season.

There we go. A whole article about who United need and don’t need without mentioning Wayne Rooney once. No need to. He, as everybody knows, should never have been allowed to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record. He should have been sold long before he got anywhere near it.


  1. Stephen Masaira says:

    Team lacks depth, not yet a solid unit to seriously challenge for championship. One good centre back, roving left back, energetic anchor man who does not seat too deep, striker are needed. I would suggest Laporte, Hector, Saul/Bakayoko, Griezmann


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