Man United begun the 2016/17 season brightly, winning their first four games, before succumbing to defeats at the hands of Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford in the space of a week.
Their most recent defeat, a 3-1 loss to Watford, led to widespread criticism of Mourinho’s failure to field a balanced side.
Speaking after the game, Fellaini acknowledged the side is experiencing a minor crisis after just seven games.
“It’s a little crisis, you could say, because Manchester United cannot lose three games,” Fellaini said.
“But we have to lift our heads. It’s still early, it’s the start of the season still. We haven’t even played 10 games yet, but we absolutely have to win.”
Any losing streak will always merit the label of a crisis. However, United’s current predicament doesn’t, in my opinion, amount to a crisis.
This is because a genuine crisis, to me, only occurs when there is no obvious solution available. Such was the case under David Moyes: no clear idea, a miserably insular attitude, and a group of players that wouldn’t subscribe to his methods – that, ladies and gentlemen, is a crisis.
With Mourinho, however, there is a clear idea, a knowledge of how exactly the side needs to play. The second half against both Man City and Watford revealed a side conscious of the task at hand, showing glimpses of the final product that Mourinho is searching for.
The only problem, it seems, is that this current side is far from settled, unable to consistently deliver what is being demanded due to continued uncertainty surrounding the question: ‘Who can satisfy the demands of that particular role?’
Mourinho is still unsure of his starting XI, and remains in the process of defining roles for particular players.
Once the Portuguese, after continued inspection, and perhaps even some more trial and error, finds the right starting XI and the right formation, supporters will finally see what this side is capable of.