Rio Ferdinand insists Jose Mourinho has improved Manchester United’s playing style

by Leo Nieboer

Rio Ferdinand believes that Jose Mourinho has made watching Manchester United enjoyable again following a tumultuous 2015/16 campaign under Louis van Gaal.

The Portuguese was drafted in to replace Van Gaal after even an FA Cup win failed to assuage the pain caused by nine months of turgid football at Old Trafford.

Mourinho has already doubled the Dutchman’s trophy count by claiming the League Cup and Europa League in his opening season whilst also dramatically improving the number of chances created in comparison to what was mustered under his predecessor.

And Ferdinand, reflecting on the 54-year-old’s first season in charge, noted that watching his former side was no longer boring with Mourinho at the helm.

“For what he was asked to do you got to say he was a success,” he said.

“But finishing sixth, when you look at it like that, and you didn’t have all the other stuff, you would say it would be a disappointing season.

“I definitely think there’s been an improvement in the way the team’s played. The idea of going to Old Trafford isn’t boring like it was for the last couple of years.

“I didn’t enjoy watching Manchester United the last couple of years. This season has been better, so you hope that will continue.”

The accumulation of draws at home to lesser sides under Mourinho have been labelled as boring by some, but I would rather see them as painful instead.

We often forget that, under Van Gaal, chances in front of goal were essentially non-existent, whereas under Mourinho chances appear to be in abundant supply, only for them to so often go begging. Van Gaal’s football sucked the life out of you; Mourinho’s football, on the other hand, forces you to pay attention and, occasionally, suffer in a completely different way.

But for all the frustration of those countless home draws, at least there was life, a semblance of purpose to latch on to – something gloomily missing under Van Gaal.

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