Is Jose Mourinho to Blame for Manchester United’s Embarrassing Defeat to Tottenham Hotspur?

Jose Mourinho

After the loss at Brighton, Manchester United hit rock bottom. Fans thought it couldn’t get any worse, the only way it could go was up. But, Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs had other ideas. In a historic night for the north London club, things did not start all well. The Lilywhites were played out of the park in the first half but Mauricio Pochettino defended hard, making use of set pieces and being clinical on the counter-attack. But, is the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ to blame for last night’s loss?

Is Jose Mourinho to Blame for Manchester United’s Defeat?

Spot-on Tactics

The team that Jose Mourinho put out was a strange one, making six changes from the team that lost to Brighton. It was a line-up similar to the one United put out against Chelsea in 2016. This time, Ander Herrera was not man marking anyone but the plan was simple: have enough bodies at the back, overload the midfield, don’t let Spurs get on the ball and attack quickly with pace. The plan worked. Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane all struggled. The defence couldn’t play out easily from the back, too.

Nemanja Matic looked rusty in midfield, giving away the ball a few times, but his physicality came to use. Fred’s directness and energy were vital. He joined the attack, pressed hard and helped transitioned the ball quickly to Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard.

Paul Pogba didn’t have the best of games. He couldn’t impose himself even when United were dominating in the opposition half. Jesse Lingard didn’t stop running, whether it was making runs in behind, pressing or tracking back all the way to his own 18-yard box. The plan behind the back three and wing backs was excellent, too. Luke Shaw had probably his best game in years, bossing Kieran Trippier. Antonio Valencia was influential too. The back three, at least in the first half, looked to have stifled Harry Kane and Lucas Moura.

The Players Let Jose Mourinho Down Again

Romelu Lukaku missed an open goal. He missed a great chance to put Manchester United into the lead at Brighton. He missed a one-v-one against Leicester. That just isn’t acceptable from a striker that Manchester United paid upwards of €80 million for. The likes of Matic, Lingard and Alexis also had decent chances to score but didn’t convert.

Talking about players not delivering, let’s talk about Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. They have let down Manchester United multiple times in their glittering careers. They did the same at Wembley against Spurs last season. Why does Jose Mourinho even trust this duo anymore? Every time they step on the pitch, they cost Manchester United. Jose Mourinho is to blame for starting them. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof had a poor game at Brighton, but they are Mourinho’s best centre-backs and should be starting week in week out. Jones and Smalling have costed United for more than seven years now and will continue to do the same forever. It is their day job.

The players did show fight and stepped up, like Fred, Shaw and Lingard. The rest just hid behind as soon as United conceded. They just seemed beat down and like they couldn’t care less. Mourinho was to blame, a little, but the players once again committed individual errors which let the team down again.

“We were punished by the mistakes we made. For me, that’s the story of the game. We made incredible mistakes in some crucial moments. Mistakes that killed us.” said Mourinho after the loss at Brighton. Individual mistakes killed United again last night.

Mourinho’s gesture at the end stated that he’s here to stay, to fight. Jose Mourinho is the man to get Manchester United out of this. He is to blame for many things, per say the loss at Brighton, but not for the loss to Spurs.

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