Manchester United: Genuine Title Contenders?

Photo courtesy of BBC.

Manchester United have had an emphatic summer, signing the likes of striker Romelu Lukaku and deep lying midfielder Nemanja Matic to create a real case to be considered as marathon runners in the title race.

Thats right, it’s #confessyourunpopularopinion time. The footballing community has somewhat of a dislike towards the Salford based giants, Manchester United, perhaps due to their excessive spending in their transfer window; or the fact that the brand is a worldwide phenomenon. Think what you like, but Manchester United look to be resurrected from the dead by Jose Mourinho.

The enigmatic Portuguese manager has had unrivalled amounts of success in his, surprisingly short time, as a football manager. The success seems to follow him wherever he goes, from Porto to London, Madrid to Manchester. Winning trophies is part of his DNA, which is why when he was announced as Red Devils boss in the summer of 2016 it was easy to see it wouldn’t be long until United’s fortunes were quickly turned around. One season in and it certainly looks like the Mourinho effect is beginning to gather pace.

Whilst United have so often been seen as title contenders in recent past, the past few season have been ones to forget, whilst trophies are still present, the Premier League trophy is the one so sought after by the red side of Manchester. Perhaps this season could be their time. Mourinho has a strong case to put forward to anyone who argues otherwise. So often throughout his career, United’s gaffer has had copious amounts of success in his SECOND season with a club. Chelsea the second time around, second season, CHAMPIONS. Real Madrid, second season, CHAMPIONS, finishing 9 points ahead of their closest rivals Barcelona. Not only that but his consistency in delivering what fans expect of him sets him up in great stead to deliver this season, to the Old Trafford faithful. With controversy a close second, it can be argued Mourinho’s most consistent aspect is trophies, with at least one trophy at every club he has ever been to. But at United, why not in the first season, what is he doing this season so different to what he did last?

First of all, he’s been able to shape the team, really put his mark on it. Like I mentioned, marquee signings such as the powerhouses that are Lukaku and Matic, alongside Premier League veterans Juan Mata and Antonio Valencia, shows the progress being made by the Red Devils. Last season United got off to a good start, it was questioned whether there rise to the top was going to come sooner rather than later, but an inability to sign, seal and deliver in games, where they struggled to put away chances any pro would finish, ultimately cost them their top four place. This season however looks different, a more patient approach is being used, one which I can only applaud Mourinho for. Tactically it’s genius. United keep the ball for long periods, allowing the opposition to chase them, then go hell for leather in the dying embers of a game and inflict a world of misery upon their victims opponents. It’s not the most exciting way to go about it, but its ingenious and in my opinion is the sole reason for their blistering start to the campaign, which has seen them score 10 goals, concede none and collect all nine points available.

Perhaps it’s too early to call them frontrunners but they will almost definitely be up there come game week 38 in May next year.

Who is your favourite for the title this year?

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