Gary Neville: It’s painful to watch Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United

Gary Neville: It’s painful to watch Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United

Former Manchester United star Gary Neville says what all the fans are thinking, stating it’s painful to watch the club’s style of play under Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese manager is known for getting results and winning trophies but it often comes at the expense of looking good on the field.

In a time where Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea are playing expansive, attacking football, it’s only United who play defensively.

Mourinho’s style is a pragmatic, counter-attacking one that has rubbed some supporters the wrong way, particularly when results are poor.

Neville has been a fan of the players the former Real Madrid manager has brought in but as for the style of play, he admits it could be a lot better.

According to Manchester Evening News, Gary said on the Second Captains podcast: “Ajax, Manchester United and Barcelona are the three bastions of European football in terms of style of play.

“United have always played 4-4-1-1, 4-4-2, with two wide players. It’s ingrained in the club. Don’t change, don’t make short-term decisions.

“The fans weren’t happy, the stadium was starting to have empty seats and then they think, ‘right, we need to win’ and they bring in Jose Mourinho, who likes powerful, robust, strong players.

“Out went nearly all those 11 and Mourinho brings in Lukaku, Matic, Fred, Bailly, a wave of players who suit his style.

“Let’s say Mauricio Pochettino comes in next – he likes hungry 23, 24-year-olds, he likes pushing up the pitch and playing high, he likes players who can press from the front.

“How many Manchester United forwards do you see that run about like the Tottenham ones? Mourinho is happy to sit back a bit deeper and have a more robust, physical player.

“As a Manchester United fan it’s painful to watch.”

It’s true the Red Devils have historically had a certain identity when it came to their football but so long as Jose gets results then it doesn’t matter.

The former Chelsea manager has had success everywhere he’s gone with his methods so it’s a little bizarre to ask him to change it now.

It’s also a little weird to ask him to think about the next manager’s style of play as Mourinho will be hoping to be the manager for a long time.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.