It hasn’t been quite the season that Manchester United supporters had hoped for under Jose Mourinho, as his tactics have been a hot topic for debate.
The Portuguese tactician is still on course to deliver two pieces of silverware, but it looks likely that United will miss out on a top-four finish.
Injuries and a squad lacking the quality and depth required to compete with their rivals haven’t helped his cause, but one area that Mourinho has been heavily criticised is his defensive tactics, particularly in the big games.
Those who back him will naturally argue that he knows he can’t go toe-to-toe with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City and he has had to use his tactical brain to outdo his rivals.
However, Jamie Carragher hasn’t been left impressed given the personnel at his disposal and the amount spent in the summer as he engaged in a pretty lively debate with Gary Neville on Monday Night Football this week.
“It’s not right for a club like Manchester United not to score in those games [away against the top six].
“It’s not right for any team not to score in four or five games, but for Manchester United with the manager they have, the players they have on the pitch and the money they’ve spent it’s embarrassing really that they can’t score a goal. It comes from Mourinho and the way he sets up his teams.”
Neville defended the United boss though, insisting that ultimately he hasn’t got a squad that he fully believes in as of yet having only brought in four individuals last summer.
In turn, he expects, and undoubtedly hopes, that the situation will be different next season after the 54-year-old has brought in more signings and with that will come a more positive approach in the big games rather than seeing a six-man defence which was on show at Arsenal at times on Sunday.
“He’s only signed four players for Manchester United. Once he’s signed eight or 10 and is a year further forward I would be asking a question if he was playing a back six in all these big away games.
“This season is the freak – and is probably the worst-performing team he has managed in the last 10 or 15 years.”