Monday 23 April 2018

Why Jose and United deserve more credit than we're getting

By this club's illustrious high standards, it may not be considered as 'great' season, but it's certainly not as bad as has been made out. United deserve more credit than we're getting. Since the turn of the year, the Reds have put together a run reminiscent of some of our swashbuckling sides of old. We've toppled Jurgen Klopp's "heavy metal" Liverpool and seen off a supposedly superior Tottenham side to set up another major cup final. That's before you even factor in the stirring, come from behind wins over the deposed champions Chelsea and their recently crowned counterparts Manchester City - the latter on their own turf after a deficit of 0-2. You can't help but feel that any other team would have earned more lavish praise from the media, pundits and other fans for those impressive heavyweight scalps. That's a luxury often afforded to Messrs Klopp and Pochettino, but Jose has outmanouevred them both and we sit above both of those teams in the table.Yet this has been met with virtually no acknowledgement and barely even an approving nod in our direction.

More pertinently, Mourinho has beaten Pochettino twice this season, including of course Saturday's FA Cup semi final defeat - the north London club's eighth successive loss at the last four stage, to ensure they will end the season without a trophy again. In contrast, Jose will lead United into our third major cup final in two seasons, and the fourth in three years since the retirement of Sir Alex. Not a bad recent record for a team we're told are not the force of old, not bad at all for a team supposedly in decline. Critics have said Jose is outdated, out of touch and past his best - yet he's got the better of all his major rivals who had purportedly left him behind.

Earlier in the campaign, the Reds welded together a sequence of six clean sheets in seven games, but it was a run that was treated with contempt by many. If it was any other team with any other manager, there would have been a vastly different reaction. I am not saying for a minute that United shouldn't be immune to negativity, football doesn't work like that and nor should it, but it seems as though many naysayers have swung too far the other way in their unjustified criticism of the team. There have been some disappointing results, but no other club suffers such a deep rooted over analysis and a blowing out of all proportion following a defeat - the recent West Brom result a case in point. Liverpool's draw with the Baggies at the weekend was glossed over and is already forgotten about, but the inquest went on for days and weeks when the bottom side came to Old Trafford and won.
The chances are, we'll finish as runners up this season - with the possible and not insigificant fillip of an FA Cup thrown in for good measure. Yet this will only be dressed up as a failure by many.

Spurs, who remember have not won a trophy since 2008, were showered with nothing but praise for a second placed finish last season and hailed as the best thing since sliced bread, but despite our clean upward trajectory, there's a determination to discredit United. It could because of our name, it could be because Jose is not as well liked as some of the other managers, but we've 100% been harshly treated. It's time the team and the boss get the credit and recognition they deserve.

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