Paul Parker believes Manchester United have their fear factor back under Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes Jose Mourinho has brought the fear factor back to Old Trafford this season.

The Portuguese’s side have made an effervescent start to their 2017/18 campaign, scoring a total of 16 goals in six games – just under three goals a game.

Strikes from Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford handed Man United the perfect start to their Champions League group campaign against FC Basel on Tuesday night.

And Parker, speaking after the 3-0 win, noted that there was an element of long-lost fear factor pervading the United side this season.

“There’s a big difference between the team of last season, which were the draw specialists, to the team this season,” he said.

They’re killing teams off. They could go and just win a game 1-0, but instead they win by three or four just by sheer power. They dominate teams by sheer strength.

“Manchester United got that fear factor back again, and they’ve got it back very quickly [under Jose Mourinho]. I think they can get even stronger in the Champions League.

“If they get through the group stages, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic to come back as well, I just think he’s going to make that much difference to the team in the knock-out stages.”

Whatever it is, something has clicked at United over the summer. The mood in front of goal last season was neurotic, almost as if the weight of the world bore down on every chance that came their way.

This time around, however, that neurosis has been replaced by a kind of goalscoring frenzy. United aren’t just scoring goals but indeed competing amongst themselves to grab them. There is a real appetite and connectivity – almost like friendly competition – amongst this squad that just wasn’t there last year.

The key to any title challenge, amongst other things, is goals all over the pitch, and United are filling that quota with aplomb so far this year.

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