Jamie Redknapp: This is why Man United’s top signings aren’t performing under Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Jose Mourinho‘s negative style is precluding his top signings from reaching their true potential.

The 53-year-old was lambasted by all corners of the football world for his defensively oriented, ‘anti-football’ approach against Liverpool last week, which saw Man United carve out a 0-0 draw.

His approach against Chelsea was also characterised by an emphasis on defensive cover, with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard acting as second full-backs at times.

Speaking after United’s 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, Redknapp pointed towards Mourinho’s negative style as the central reason behind why the side’s creative sector is struggling this season.

“What was the point of Jose Mourinho signing creative, exciting players like Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan if he’s going to play so negatively?”, he asked rhetorically.

“People are saying that the players have to adapt to Jose’s style but I disagree. He must change to suit the traditions of a club that produced the most exciting team of the last 20 years.

“There will be questions in the dressing room over Jose’s tactics and I worry that the atmosphere could become toxic.”

Redknapp’s comments fall in line with a mainstream agenda against Mourinho: namely that his overly pragmatic style inhibits the creative zeal of his players.

And yet, a brief trawl through history exposes this notion as a fallacy: Dider Drogba, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo (obviously), Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito, Eden Hazard – all attacking players who both excelled and won trophies under Mourinho.

Do you think they pointed the finger at the manager’s methods when things didn’t go their way? Of course not. They went out there and proved themselves, and this is exactly what his current group of players ought to do.

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