Manchester United manager José Mourinho conceded the English Premier League title to city rivals even before Christmas.
Though Mourinho has successfully returned the Red Devils back to some standard since he took over two years ago, he has failed to win the Premier title. He has as well failed to mount pressure on the winners of the two editions since he took over.
Many times this season, Mourinho was criticised by fans and pundits for his tactical approach to matches, as reported by Skysports. Yet, the manager has refused to change his tactics, claiming he has been applying same tactics to matches since the start of his career and it has brought him numerous trophies. This has been a way of bringing up past glories as excuses.
His tactics seem too old and outdated compared to the latest evolution in the game where managers prefer an attacking and high pressing style of football adopted by Liverpool and City managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola respectively.
Pep Guardiola is known for his ‘tiki-taka’ style of football since his days at Camp Nou, which is has seen Top Bookmakers favoured him to win the title even before the second half of the season. At the Etihad, Guardiola still maintains his style of play (though he made some alterations) with which he retains possession of the ball than his opponent while making impressive counter-attacks when there are chances for that.
Unlike Pep, Mourinho loves to play a defensive game where almost all his players – strikers inclusive – will move back to help defend against conceding a goal. United have only managed to score 63 goals this season compared to their neighbours, Manchester City, who have scored 87 goals.
During the Portuguese coach’s first stint at Chelsea, he believed that the person who has more of the ball is more susceptible to losing it. While that is true, he should recognise that the person who doesn’t have the ball has nothing to gain and everything to lose since he can’t execute without the ball.
Jose Mourinho needs to learn, adapt, change, or forget about winning altogether. Even if he deems Guardiola’s tiki-taka too limited, Klopp is a manager he could learn a lot from. The German has played Guardiola’s City four times this season winning three and losing one following a red card to one of his best players.
Klopp’s tactical style is quite similar – though not very much – to Mourinho’s as they both love counter-attacking and pacy players. These are two of the game’s finest managers – Klopp and Guardiola.
The EPL has shown that it is not a league for coaches who are not ready to learn from past mistakes, such is the fate of Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte. If Mourinho wants to differ from this category of past glories, he needs to win the EPL. And, the only way he can win the EPL is by showing the world he can alter his ineffective tactics.