Jose Mourinho‘s men have made an imperious attacking start to the season but their defensive solidity has been criminally ignored; they have conceded the fewest goals out of any Premier League side this season.
And plenty of that comes down to their physical presence, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Eric Bailly creating a firm core from which to dominate opponents.
Speaking soon after the 1-0 win over Southampton, Jones noted that United’s sheer strength and height will serve them well this season.
“We can cause teams a lot of problems physically – big strong boys up top, in the midfield and at the back and collectively we look good and we’ve got a lot of strength in depth,” he said.
“Hopefully we can keep going, keep playing better and pushing for more points.”
You could see it at Saint Mary’s. Mourinho, in his second season, has constructed a bullish, genuinely intimidating side packed with looming physical threats. They dominated in the air and stopped Southampton from having any real joy in front of goal.
There is something unquestionably resolute and powerful about this side. The flimsiness of recent years has been replaced with a collective assurance – a knowing that, deep down, they can swipe others sides away with their physical stature.
This has always been a crucible of any Mourinho team, and indeed a necessary factor behind the Portuguese’s constant success at the highest level.