William Gallas: Jose Mourinho has a special way of improving Man United players

by Leo Nieboer

Former Chelsea defender William Gallas has heaped praise on Jose Mourinho, noting that the Portuguese has a special way of improving his players at Manchester United.

The Portuguese encountered a rocky opening few months at Old Trafford, managing just two Premier League wins from September to December.

However, a 3-2 League Cup triumph over Southampton last weekend – Man United’s 16th win from 20 games – served as further evidence of this side moving in the right direction under Mourinho.

And Gallas, who claimed two Premier League titles under the 54-year-old at Chelsea, has made note his former manager’s aptitude for improving players.

“Perhaps when you see a Mourinho team playing you might get the impression that he’s a coach who doesn’t like to play football, but it’s totally the opposite – he loves that,” he said. 

“If you ask any player who has been with Mourinho, they’ll tell you his training sessions are incredible.

“There are coaches who like you to make laps of the pitch to improve your cardio fitness but, for him [Mourinho], there has to be the ball.

“He asks his defenders to play the ball out from the back, the midfielders to position themselves well, the forwards to make the right runs, and afterwards, in matches, you see the style of play that he wants to give to his team.

“But he also asks his wingers to be able to defend, which is very important in today’s football as the full-backs push up very, very high.”

Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Juan Mata – these are just some of the players that have undergone a radical transformation since Mourinho’s arrival in June.

The Portuguese took over a group of confidence sapped individuals and invoked a palpable sense of purpose from day one, handing each player a clear role within the set-up: no ambiguity, no dithering, no afternoons wasted watching video analysis – just complete dedication towards the task at hand, and supporters are starting to see this renewed mentality manifest itself in results.

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