One of the reasons for the frustration of so may Arsenal fans last season, despite the fact that we ended up in second place which was the highest placed finish this decade, was the feeling of a chance wasted. There was also a feeling that the chance might not come again as our big Premier League rivals were all going to spend money and appoint new managers.
So after Pep Guardiola joined Man City there was more concern for Arsenal’s title hopes when Manchester United replaced Louis van Gaal with Jose Mourinho and then handed the Portuguese coach a seemingly bottomless transfer kitty to splash on new players.
At first it looked like all our fears were well grounded but things have started to unravel at Old Trafford and I for one am loving it. Now people are starting to talk about Mourinho as another van Gaal or pointing to his disastrous time at Chelsea last year rather than looking on him as United’s saviour.
Of course the self appointed special one is reluctant to shoulder the blame for three defeats in a week but as the former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown pointed out in a Daily Mail report, things could soon get even worse for Jose and his new club if he keeps blaming young players like the left back Luke Shaw.
Keown said, “Mourinho has to take a long look at himself and stop blaming everyone else. He can forge special relationships with players and give them great confidence, but it can also go in the other direction and lead to big falling outs. He blames his players and looks to separate himself from the problem when he needs to help them be the best they possibly can. But this situation isn’t about Mourinho, it’s about Manchester United. He has to put his ego to one side because he is part of the problem — and he needs to be part of the solution, too.
“It was very unkind of Mourinho to call out Luke Shaw on Sunday — not least because he was by no means the only one at fault for Watford’s second goal. At 21, Shaw is an easy target for Mourinho and would have been humiliated at being substituted immediately after the goal. He has the potential to be one of the finest left backs this country has ever produced, but he’s playing with no confidence. His main strength is to tear forward at any opportunity, but it looks as though Mourinho has him playing in a straitjacket.”
Yes and let’s hope it stays that way and Mourinho falls out with more of his players, because a struggling United can only be good for Arsenal.