José Mourinho

Stats suggest where José Mourinho went wrong with team selections

It’s looked inevitable for quite some time, but José Mourinho has finally gone. There’s a certain symmetry with his second Chelsea tenure, as he has today been sacked three years and a day after that job came to a grisly end.

Rumoured to be leaving prior to the Newcastle match, Mourinho clung onto his job thanks to turning a 0-2 half time score line into a 3-2 win. United nearly won at Chelsea, fought back twice against Arsenal, but the 3-1 loss at Anfield was the final straw.

And deservedly so. Liverpool out shot the visitors by 36 shots to six, which is the kind of one sided affair you see when a relegation side travels to face one of the big guns. Not Manchester United. Their performance was an embarrassment, where they’d have been lucky to get nil, never mind one, as the saying goes.

We would never suggest that our statistics are the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to assessing players, but in the eyes of our algorithm, José Mourinho did not use his best players enough recently. Here are United’s top five Premier League performers on a points-per-minute basis. Read More

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City: A Cold Tuesday Night in Ukraine

Is there anything to win when you put your billion-Pound star ensemble on an airplane and travel across Europe to play in the cold of the Slobidshchyna? At least three points in the Champions League group stage. That is the motivation for Pep Guardiola, knowing that Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City might not turn out to be pretty. But that is not what City is all about right now.

Some football philosophers may suggest that the best teams sometimes look average and win nevertheless. That is what Manchester City have done in the past few weeks. Usually, head coach Guardiola comes up with a variety of tactical ideas; some outlandish, most brilliant.

But the Catalan also knows how valuable his players are and how many of them can make match-altering moves. It is the beauty of the current City squad that the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sané battle for two spots in the starting XI, that Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus often battle for one berth, with Guardiola knowing that each of them can rip through defences and score the one decisive goal. Read More

Jorginho Premier League Team Of The Week

Premier League Team of Week 6: Jorginho the pass master

There’s a breath of fresh air about our team of the week in week six. For the first time we’re going with a 4-2-3-1 formation. There’s no sign of regulars like Tarkowski, Pogba or Hazard, and we have a whole host of debutants. The likes of Harry Maguire and Jorginho both win their second TOTW caps of the season, with the latter putting in the performance of the week.

But did he actually contribute all that much at the London Stadium? We’ll come to that in due course, and we’ll begin with a shot stopper who hasn’t received too many positive notices in 2018/19. Read More

Burnley vs Manchester United Preview

Burnley vs Manchester United Preview: Mourinho’s last chance?

Instead of lifting the gloom, Manchester United sunk deeper into it. The Red Devils earliest ‘must win’ game of the season went badly wrong and José Mourinho’s men lost to Tottenham 0-3 in front of their own fans at Old Trafford.

Never before had Mourinho seen one of his teams lose 3-0 in their own back yard, making Monday’s match his worst-ever home defeat. For the first time in his 18 year managerial career, Mourinho has lost two of his first three league games.

3-5-2 against Spurs saw some positives

After United’s insipid defeat to Brighton, the manager made his moves. In total, Mourinho made six changes to his starting line-up. Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial were the three players substituted at the Amex Stadium, and none of them even made the squad against Tottenham. Read More

Manchester United

Manchester United vs. Leicester City Preview: Fred to make debut?

Manchester United kick off their Premier League season against Leicester City on Friday evening, with the hopes of getting off to a good start in a bid to challenge Manchester City for the title.

After finishing second last season, a long way behind their rivals who had more or less sewn up the title by the turn of the year, United need to raise their game this campaign. A good performance against Leicester would be a great place to start.

One positive is that their best outfield player, Paul Pogba, returns to Manchester as a world champion. The renewed confidence and swagger this will give the Frenchman should work in United’s favour over the course of the season, but with his holiday starting later than his teammates’, it’s unlikely he will feature in the opening game.

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