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Jose Mourinho's Manchester United send you to sleep, Pogba should save emoji until he's real deal Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:27

Former Old Trafford defender Paul Parker feels Jose Mourinho's Manchester United side are still well short of what is expected of them despite their Europa League triumph against Ajax in Stockholm.

If there is one English side who are capable of doing okay in the Champions League next season, you would probably say it is Manchester United.

Simply because Jose Mourinho sets up not to lose. Even though over two legs, you would have to bring a pillow with you to watch it.

United would be the most difficult team to beat from the Premier League, but that doesn't mean it is enjoyable. Is it in the best traditions of United's history? Certainly not.
Winning the Europa League has taken the pressure off the manager.

When Rafael Benitez won the same tournament with Chelsea in 2013, Mourinho wasn’t too nice about it. He was very critical of it.

He also said Ajax shouldn’t be in the Europa League because they played in the Champions League this season.

Well, in theory he should not go into the Champions League because he’s won the Europa League.
His gamble on one match to make or break the season has paid off. In gambling, a lot of people live that way, but they normally die that way too.

United are in the Champions League. Mourinho should be happy because Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool are in there. He now can’t accuse other teams of getting advantages in rest periods during the season.

It’s all worked out because other teams will be playing a similar amount of games. But at United, you can’t keep looking for excuses.

For many, many years before Jose Mourinho arrived, United coped with the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. They coped because that is what United are built for.

As a club, they build their season to compete on all fronts. They should be equipped to do that, and that’s what Mourinho must do.

" There can be no excuses about being tired because the top five teams are in the same boat, and every club wants to amongst them."
They all want to play 60 plus games because that tends to mean success in your season. The more games you play, the more opportunity you have to win things.

Everyone will be looking to Mourinho to win the Premier League. Manchester United need a league title five years after Sir Alex Ferguson won the last one.
The last two seasons have been very poor. You are judged on where you finish in the league. Are Mourinho's side any better than Louis van Gaal's? No.

Finishing sixth isn’t good enough for United, certainly not 24 points behind the champions. They must be able to make up that points difference. Trying to win the league by winning games is always going to be better than going out not to lose.

That is the tradition of the club set by men like Fergie. When United are playing cagey, you are relying on individuals. That’s when it becomes worrying.

We have to remember football is a team game. It is easy to destroy, but the hardest thing in football is to create.

You can’t keep being dependent on players to keep doing things when they are being asked to be secondary defenders and make up 60 yards to join an attack

United need to go out and realise that they are respected because they are United. Everybody is ready for that attacking wave to come forward when you are playing United.

Not sitting back watching, and thinking the tide has gone out.
Paul Pogba sums up United's problems. He is not a holding midfielder. So much has been taken away from his game. I think he’s tried too hard to impress this season after that world record £89m price tag.

He’s been having too many touches of the ball which isn’t really in his nature. He’s also been giving away silly fouls because people are working harder against him.

He hasn’t had the greatest of seasons. Expectations are high. United have got to kick on, Mourinho has to kick on and Pogba's got to kick on. He can do what he wants with his Twitter emoji, dancing and his hair when he is part of a United side that are the real deal.

There is no point marketing yourself if you are not delivering on what you are good at
It is time for Mourinho to deliver a Premier League challenge.

He escaped a lot of flak by winning one game in Stockholm. He won't get away with it again.

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    Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed that no other game in the Premier League calendar compares to Liverpool against Manchester United.

    The two bitter rivals go head-to-head on Saturday, with the unbeaten United sitting joint top of the table while Liverpool are five places back in seventh.

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    When asked if the fixture is United’s biggest game of the season, he told Sky Sports: "I believe so, since I came here I always knew the rivalry was big over the years. Everyone in the training ground, fans in the street, they remind you that Liverpool is the game.

    "There is no game like this. Through the history there have been great games, big rivalries, and it is a special game to play in, and we feel very lucky to have the chance to play in these games.

    "The view from Spain I think is that all of the big Premier League games are viewed similarly. Once you are in England you realise United v Liverpool stands out.
    "I have pretty good memories from our games against Liverpool. Every United supporter even now, after a few years, remind me of that goal. When you play for United and score at Anfield and win the game, it stays in peoples' minds."

    The Anfield crowd are sure to provide United with a hostile atmosphere, but Mata is adamant his side can quieten them down if they go into the game with the right attitude.

    "It's tough. It's a tough atmosphere. Obviously, the stadium is full of supporters wanting their team to go over us and win. That's what makes football special. Not speaking about violence at all, but about the atmosphere. You have to have personality to play in these games,” he added.

    "If we manage to impose ourselves in the game to control the emotions from the crowd, and play good football, I think we have a chance to win."

  • Parker: Mourinho has got United right in one season, the same can’t be said of Klopp and Liverpool

    Paul Parker has been impressed with Manchester United’s improvement under Jose Mourinho and expects the Old Trafford club to win their fixture against Liverpool this weekend.

    I think Manchester United will beat Liverpool this weekend. The match represents United’s biggest test this season. However, United are a different proposition to last year. Mourinho’s men have absorbed everything that has been thrown at them. Unlike last season, Mourinho will go there and look for more than a point.

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    Both sides had huge issues last season. However, United addressed theirs, while Liverpool have let them fester. United have signed well (more on that below) but Mourinho has also improved the players he inherited, take for example Marouane Fellaini. Klopp has neither improved defensive players at his disposal nor signed better players to address their issues.
    Defensively, the Reds look like they have gone backwards and look more porous than they were back under Brendan Rodgers. At least his side were great going forward; defensively they might not have survived in the second division and they appear to have gotten worse.

    "Mourinho has got Manchester United right in one season but Liverpool still look all at sea after two years into Klopp’s tenure. "
    The pressure will eventually start to ramp up on Klopp – he will definitely get to the end of the season, but if there are no signs of improvement between now and then he might be in trouble. It is pretty poor that they did not have a back-up plan when they missed out on Virgil van Dijk. They identified the problem and did not solve it.

    Every championship-winning team has a standout goalkeeper and back four. Liverpool have neither. Yes, they have Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah but when Liverpool dominated the league, it was because of their defence. Not anymore. Klopp brought in a goalkeeper (Loris Karius) that is no better than the one they already had (Simon Mignolet).

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    Mourinho has Romelu Lukaku realising how good he is. And he compares very favourably to Ibrahimovic, the Swede scored great goals for United but was he a great goalscorer? Lukaku has the makings of a great goalscorer and suits them perfectly. He has been in the right place at the right time and has that hunger to play.
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  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic must not rush Manchester United return - surgeon

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been warned not to rush his Manchester United return by surgeon Freddie Fu Ho-keung, who operated on his knee in May.

    Ibrahimovic has not played since suffering a career-threatening knee ligament injury in United's Europa League quarter-final second leg match against Anderlecht at Old Trafford in April.

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  • Scan reveals no serious injury for Romelu Lukaku who remains a doubt for Belgium

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