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Guest Article – Confidence starts with Jose Mourinho

Another Guest Article now and once again it’s from of Gustaaf Weber. Gustaaf  is from Holland and has written an article on whether it’s not just Manchester United but also Jose Mourinho lacking confidence – over to you Gustaaf

Manchester United players are back in trouble after three consecutive defeats. “They lack confidence “, said Jose Mourinho after he analyzed after the 3-1 defeat to Watford on Sunday.

That was somewhat stating the obvious but would a more appropriate statement be “We lack confidence”, including ‘The Special One’ himself.

If the manager fields two holding midfielders in Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini, which is then backed by the power of Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling then the message that sends out to opposition is predominately clear, and that is safety first.

Manchester United were built on a bedrock of attacking flair under Sir Alex Ferguson but we are now three managers removed from the greatest British manager and those days are but a bygone memories. Football fans have to be careful not to yearn for the past but the present is not all that impressive.

Mourinho can not be blamed for it, he was just hired to do what he always does. We might not like that money is killing football, but money is the reality.

So when available, spend it on great players and enjoy it. City spend their money where their mouth is. First they appointed Pep Guardiola,

who only knows attacking football. Next Pep buys players to suit his style, and he puts them in the line-up.

Against United he lined up Fernandinho as their single holding midfielder, with Silva and DeBruyne on front of him in a creative attacking roll.

Their full backs were spend all afternoon at United’s half. Does your manager sent you out  fearing goals, or are you sent out scoring them?

Confidence and intent starts with the manager. City owners dared to invest in attractive football. United invested in two creative players, not in creative football.

Zlatan was signed for result, great move. Mkhitarian was subbed after one poor showing, and will probably not return for a while.

Creative players are more sensitive.  LVG stood by Memphis, Martial, Rashford  and played them week in week out,  accepting their ups and downs.

LVG stood up for them, never criticized them in the media. Di Maria left because he could not settle in rainy England, and  wanted to go to PSG in the first place.

Luke Shaw, just 21, was openly blamed for his mistakes yesterday, that will surely do his confidence good on his way back from injury.

Raheem Sterling feels understood by Guardiola, and is immediately back to his best. Backed by Pep  John Stones is shining confident  like never before.

Oppositely the ball playing defender Daley Blind, who scored a consistent 7 or 8 in every game last year, was allowed just one mistake (rather Bailly’ mistake) against City, for Mourinho to prove his point, and bench him.  Excuse me for mentioning the latter, being Dutch.

Only managers with true attacking intend dare to field defenders like Stones, Blind, Vertonghen or Mascherano.

Anyway I still trust (and hope) United will get it right at some point, but for the time being only City and Spurs, have the confidence to choose for attacking football.

Thanks Gustaaf for your article, hopefully Gustaaf will provide some more insights in the future. Do you agree with Gustaaf – please feel free to leave your comments below

If you would like to have any content posted on here then please feel free to contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and hopefully we can get something of yours up as well.


  1. He Gustaf put a lot of time and energy into that piece. Only thing I disagree with is Pogba being a holding player. I like to think of him being a box to box player myself. He’s too good to be classed as a holding player. And I hope jose hasn’t told him to be one

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