The dark shadow over Manchester United got a lot darker when Jose Mourinho bulldozed his way into Old Trafford, bringing about his usual misery, upset and despair.
World Cup winners disrespected, youthful prospects broken and club stalwarts cast aside, as Mourinho tried to prove a point about past regimes that didn’t need proving – a la Juan Mata being sold from Chelsea, despite being the club’s POTY two seasons in a row.
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Unlike his second spell at the Blues, Mourinho has perhaps learnt and backtracked on a few of his prick moves; Bastian Schweinsteiger has now and then been reintroduced to the squad over recent weeks, Mourinho has stopped calling his players out in public and, most importantly, Jose has brought Michael Carrick back into the spine of the Red Devils team.
Even at 35-years-old, Michael Carrick is vital to Manchester United's success. Time to clone him. pic.twitter.com/rrzSEK9EgT
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 20, 2016
NB: That bloke, @LiamPaulCanning, is well worth a follow if you want an insight into a proper Manchester United fan; you know, the bandwagon-jumping and ‘woe is me’ mentality lot that they’re.
The very fact that United are still so reliant on Carrick, and have needed to add 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic up top, to thrive, is a damning verdict on the disarray the club still finds itself in post-Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sure, there’s of course the argument that praises the English midfielder for making sure he maintained himself, like Ryan Giggs, and worked to keep himself in tip-top condition and invaluable to the side in his mid-3os. However, why are United a team that go out and sign a player for a world-record fee, in a position that they didn’t really need to, causing them to fall back on the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder?
We are so reliant on Michael Carrick it's become embarrassing. It's Paul Scholes part 2 #mufc
— Hood Economist (@DISUNOMICS) December 1, 2016
Manchester United bleat on about how they’re a footballing powerhouse, they’ve got world-class players etc, and these are all fair statements. But why is there no heir to Michael Carrick’s throne? Why is no one ready to do the job of a player who is probably in his last proper full season?
Age is nothing. And there’s no real issue in United playing a 35-year-old midfielder, when he’s still one of the best in the business and at the top of his game. However, the lack of players ready for that fast approaching post-Carrick era highlight everything wrong with the Old Trafford club; no strategy, no plan and, in all honesty, no idea.
The worrying thing for United is they still need a shake up of the foundations, since Fergie has left, however, the powers that be seem to feel and act like they’ve already had it.