Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is an “old-school manager” and can “only win ugly” according to the Sunday Supplement panel.
The Portuguese tactician has continued to struggle in recent weeks at Old Trafford, with his side slipping further behind their rivals at the top of the Premier League table.
With his defensive-minded tactics only getting him so far in certain games while other managers and rivals have shown that a modern style to the game with a high tempo and high pressing bring results, some have suggested that Mourinho has been left behind.
That was the thought echoed around the Sunday Supplement table this weekend, with the panel questioning whether or not Mourinho’s methods still work and if he is able to adapt his style and bring it in line with what is expected at United while combatting his direct rivals.
“He’s beginning to look like an old-school manager,” The Times’ Alison Rudd said on the Sky Sports show. “He’s suddenly looking quite old because you’ve got young managers like Pochettino and Klopp who have refreshed the way football is played in the Premier League and what they demand from their players.”
“He can only win ugly,” said The Sun’s Antony Kastrinakis. “He can never win the Pep [Guardiola] way or the Klopp way. That’s his nature.
“His behaviour was worse at Chelsea [when United lost 4-0]. What Mourinho couldn’t take was that [Antonio] Conte took the same players that he had last season, and gave them a lesson in football.”
United sit in eighth place in the Premier League table after 10 games with 15 points, with their draw with Burnley on Saturday seeing them fall eight points adrift of joint leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Having seen his second spell with Chelsea end in disastrous fashion, combined with the struggles he’s now encountering in Manchester, there is plenty of evidence to back the assertions made by the panel. However, with so long to go in the season, Mourinho and his players will have plenty of time to prove them wrong.