His style of football wasn’t attractive enough, his team weren’t winning the trophies the fans wanted and the atmosphere in the dressing room had reached levels verging on toxic. These were the claims leveled against Jose Mourinho by disgruntled Manchester United fans, who had seen enough of the “Special One” to decide he wasn’t special enough anymore to oversee the rebuilding project Manchester United have found themselves trapped in ever since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
In came a club legend in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who reportedly put an arm around the players who had fallen out of favor with the former Chelsea boss and the results were immediate. 10 games into his stint at Old Trafford and the “baby faced assassin” had returned 26 points, breaking the record set by Guus Hiddink for most points in a managers first 10 Premier League games and with it bringing back the feel good factor around the “Theatre of Dreams.”
Skip forward to the present day and the Norwegian is being forced to bat away questions regarding his future after a disastrous start to the 2019 campaign with United just 6 points clear of the drop zone, having won just 4 of their 14 top-flight matches. Last nights FA Cup draw saw United draw a trip to Wolves in round 3, a venue where the “Red Devils” saw their cup campaign come to a crushing end last season, meaning the last piece of silverware United enjoyed was the Europa League in 16-17, delivered by a certain Jose Mourinho.
3 games into the Portuguese managers reign at White Hart Lane and Tottenham have had a revival of their own, winning all 3 games and scoring 10 goals in the process. While the Londoners are yet to display the sort of defensive steel we always associate with a Jose Mouriho team (conceding 6) there has already been a notable change in approach from Jose’s “Spurs” to the Pochettino Tottenham.
No longer totally obsessed on playing out from the back at all costs, the recent impressive form of Tottenham’s front 4 (Alli, Son, Moura & Kane) can most definitely be accredited to the fact Mourinho has clearly tweaked the system in a way that sees the ball reach those front players in a quicker fashion with the rest of the side ordered to keep the shape tight and allow the main attacking threats to focus on exactly that, attacking.
While the level of opponent Spurs have faced in the last 3 games have been far from the top table opposition, Manchester United arrive in awful form (winless in 3) and were extremely lucky not to suffer a home defeat against a wasteful Aston Villa on Sunday. Looking vulnerable themselves at the back (conceding 7 in the last 3 games), Tottenham most definitely posses the quality in the final third to hurt this extremely average United side with the top-4 still a realistic target for the “Lilywhites”.
A fixture Manchester United have dominated historically, Tottenham hammered Jose Mourinho’s United 3-0 at Old Trafford last season and have in fact won 3 of the last 5 meetings with United.
The moral of the story, since Mourinho’s Old Trafford exit the club has drifted further and further away from its rivals while Tottenham have appointed a manager who clearly has a point to prove and is already making an impact at his new club. As a result, it’s hard to see how United win this one with Tottenham to win and both teams to score the value bet for this midweek Premier League clash (available upon request).
Harry Kane to score first & Tottenham to win (upon request) – Kane has 14 goals in 20 club appearances this season and has 2 previous career goals against United, including that 3-0 win last season.
Lucas Moura anytime scorer 12/5 – Scored a brace in the 3-0 win last season and has looked a new player since the arrival of Mourinho.