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Luke Shaw: Manchester United are still improving under Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer


Luke Shaw has declared Manchester United can still improve despite making an impressive start to the season.

Jose Mourinho has made a perfect start to his time at Old Trafford, winning his first three games and securing a place at the top of the table alongside Chelsea.

Shaw, who returned to the first-team in June after 10 months on the sidelines, has played every single minute under the 53-year-old.

Speaking after his side’s 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday night, Shaw expressed his delight at the win but insisted there was still room for improvement.

“To be honest I didn’t think it was going to be our day but we didn’t stop and luckily Marcus Rashford was in the right position at the right time,” he said.

“In the last three games we haven’t played our best, we are still gelling and improving. The signs are really positive.

“Last season the defence was very strong and we are building on that. We have a great partnership going, it is a strong team.”

As Shaw points out, last season saw Louis van Gaal implement a firm defensive base within this United side. An unfortunate caveat of this newfound defensive solidity, however, was a complete regression in attacking potency, with more emphasis being placed on maintaining a solid structure from which to control games.

Under Mourinho, that rigidity at the back is invariably present. But the crucial difference is that, unlike with van Gaal, United’s powerful defence actually supplements attacking movements, as opposed to restricting them.

This can be seen through the sheer energy and power displayed by Shaw and Antonio Valencia on the flanks, giving width and purpose to the side’s attacks. Even Eric Bailly and Daley Blind have been hardwired by the Portuguese to drive the ball forward whenever, quickening the transition between defence and attack.

Mourinho’s side will, of course, continue to improve, and the immediate winning start is deeply encouraging.

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