There have been lots of questions in recent weeks about just how good a side Manchester United actually has. There have been many people who are unsure that the squad is good enough, they have critiqued a number of positions and holes in the side that, they argue quite clearly need to be filled over the summer if United are going to, at the very least stand still, never mind overtake Manchester City and reclaim the title that, for a long time, seemed to be theirs to lose.
With Liverpool clearly gelling after having more time under Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham looking set to spend at money over the summer with an increase in revenue from ticket sales ahead, it is clear that United will be fighting for the top four as well as the title next year with clubs nipping at their heels and a juggernaut in front of them. The international break, some worry, might slow United’s momentum with a win over Brighton helping the Red Devils back on track after a tough defeat to Sevilla which put a real dent into a season that already wasn’t one of the clubs brightest.
However, chances still remain to lock in second, a huge improvement on last year’s sixth as well as to kick on and challenge for the FA Cup, a trophy with a great history and which comes with the glory that only winning can bring. The international might then, seem like a bit of chore and a slightly frustrating pause to what had i been a chance to really get back into gear for Mourinho’s men.
What the international break has done though, is to show that Manchester United do have some top quality players of real ability, talent and tactical nous but it is clear that the club are not doing enough to get the best out of them. While Pogba seems to struggle for United, he played very well for France and a good number of punters have taken to Spin Palace Sports to bet on the Frenchman to take the World Cup Golden ball, they feel that at 25/1, he represents great value. Other United stars also did a great job on international duty.
Jesse Lingard continued his remarkable form and scored for England. He is looking more mature in every single game and has grown immensely under Mourinho, something rarely mentioned by the press since Mourinho apparently doesn’t improve players. Lukaku also looks deadly for Belgium and scored twice as they beat Saudi Arabia. David De Gea, once again, looked like the world best goalkeeper for Spain as they ran over Argentina. He was calm, composed and everything that he is so routinely praised for when playing for United.
There is then something missing at Old Trafford and it is not just quality, there is a need for a more coherent system, a way of getting more from the obvious talent on the pitch. There is no suggestion that Mourinho doesn’t need more players but he also has to start working better with the ones he has, other managers are doing just fine with the same players.