Joe Cole: Jose Mourinho forced to protect defence at Manchester United

Joe Cole: Jose Mourinho forced to protect defence at Manchester United

Former Chelsea star Joe Cole has defended Jose Mourinho and his tactics, insisting his hand has been forced as he’s had to protect the shaky defence.

The Portuguese manager himself has opened up publicly and explained why Manchester United haven’t been as defensively solid as they were last season.

Mourinho had reasoned that his defenders were better protected last season and due to his desire to play expansive football this year, his backline haven’t been as shielded.

United currently have a negative goal difference in the league and Cole believes the rest of the team is picking up the defence’s slack.

Whatever the reason for the poor performances so far this season, Jose is running out of time to save his job with the club already 14 points behind fierce rivals Manchester City who are currently in first place.

According to Manchester Evening News, Jose said to BT Sport: “I think he feels, when he sets the team up, he has to really protect the middle of the pitch, the centre-halves.

“I think he’s come out and said it publicly and said that’s why he feels he has to play like that – but the culture of Man United isn’t that. The culture is on the front foot.

“It’s hard to defend him because in this game, whatever you do, it will always come down to results and Manchester United sitting in seventh in the table is not going to be acceptable because those fans are used to what they’ve got.

“What I would say is I think he’s still a top manager and I think he can turn it around but there seems to be other factors within the club, behind the scenes, signing players and new signings, that kind of thing. I think that has a massive effect on the club.

“I’m coming from a place where I’ve seen how good he is, I know how good he is first hand, so it’s hard to see that it’s not working for him because I want him to do well.”

Manchester United fans will be hoping Cole and many of Mourinho’s former players are correct as they’ve continued to publicly defend him.

It’s true the Portuguese manager isn’t the only cause of the club’s terrible form this season but a few of their issues could potentially be resolved if he was moved on.

Some supporters have complained that not only have the performances been dire but there also appears to be no real tactical plan at work.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.