Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted Jose Mourinho has the ability to improve this Manchester United team over the 2018/19 season.
The 55-year-old oversaw Man United’s best Premier League campaign since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, finishing second on 81 points alongside reaching the FA Cup final.
But Man United have taken major steps backwards in recent weeks: conceding 14 Premier League goals, slumping to eighth in the table, and losing to Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton, Derby County and West Ham United.
That said, Zlatan remains convinced that Mourinho has the ability to improve this team, calling on players to do more.
“I think he has the ability to win [the Premier League],” he said. “I think he is the right coach for that club, for that team.”
“But a coach is only as good as his team, so it’s not like he can do miracles if the team is not good enough. And I feel the team is good – it’s progressing, becoming better. This is his third year, the players know more and more the way he wants to play and how he wants it – so I believe, yes.”
The notion that United are heading in a tangible forward direction under Mourinho – or even just slightly improved since, say, the Europa League final in May 2017 – is pure nonsense, I’m afraid.
Saturday’s remarkable comeback win over Newcastle United has, thankfully, quietened the noise surrounding the club, but supporters will be nonetheless acutely aware of all the defects lying at the heart of this Mourinho team. They have gone backwards.