Jose Mourinho has insisted that players are receiving optimum chances at Manchester United this season, noting that his first team squad possesses the right workman-like mentality.
The 54-year-old has used a total of 29 players so far this season – six less than the number seen under Louis van Gaal last season.
Man United painfully succumbed to their eighth draw in 12 home games against West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, leaving them five points off fourth spot.
But Mourinho, speaking after the game, was resilient when it came to defending his side’s overall attitude in the face of another galling draw.
“It’s not today,” he noted, “it’s every day. It’s every day. So I keep doing what I’m doing during the season. I try. I give chances. I give chances. I try. Play again. Play again. Come on. Keep going. You have talent. They know they have talent. OK, let’s go. Let’s try. Let’s have one more opportunity. No pressure. Keep going, keep going, keep going. There is nothing else we can do.”
Present in Mourinho’s tone is a clear sense of exasperation – the kind of response given by a man who has tried everything and received little in return. You could easily apply the above segment to my own chagrin when desperately trying to get into double figures on ‘Flappy Bird’.
On a more serious note, though, one could easily question Mourinho’s assertion that, against West Brom, he and his players tried everything. His only substitution was throwing on Wayne Rooney for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, which – rather unsurprisingly – did very little; there was no tactical switch, no ‘Plan B’; his front four, whilst committed, were painfully predictable in their approach.
The Portuguese is right when he notes that his players work hard; noting that ‘there is nothing else we can do’, however, is just plain wrong.