Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mourinho Must Resist Endless Urge to Tinker

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mourinho Must Resist Endless Urge to Tinker

Article excerpt

UNITED sit eighth in the Premier League and there are plenty of stats doing the rounds which make for depressing reading if you're a United fan.

But one stat that isn't too depressing - more alarming - emphasises one of United's biggest problems.

When the team sheet dropped against Arsenal it was announced Jose Mourinho had made seven changes from the side that drew at Southampton, meaning he had made 46 changes in the league this season. That's more than any other Premier League side, and we're not even halfway through the campaign yet.

Obviously injuries are going to force any manager to make changes, and at the moment United are going through a bit of an injury crisis, so changes have been forced on the manager.

But more often than not Mourinho has been switching his pack to make a point, not just to the players but to the board as well, and he has shown he has no issue dropping players after the slightest hint of a bad performance.

Andreas Pereira's barely been seen since the Brighton defeat and Fred couldn't even make the squad against Arsenal. That's a £52m player, who let's not forget Mourinho bought, who can't make the bench.

Mourinho's three seasons into his reign as United manager and he still doesn't have a set United XI - and that's reflected in the performances.

At the start of the season it was the tinkering around at the back that was causing the biggest issue with United leaking so many goals.

But, injuries aside, Mourinho appears to be sticking with Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof as his preferred centre-back pairing, finally a basis to start building from.

There's absolutely no problem with managers choosing to rotate their squad in order to preserve their best players, especially with such a busy festive period approaching. But, there's always that feeling with Mourinho that his changes aren't about getting the best out of his team - more to prove a point. …

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