Tactically outdated: Jose Mourinho only has himself to blame for Manchester United’s...

Tactically outdated: Jose Mourinho only has himself to blame for Manchester United’s UCL exit


Jose Mourinho’s tactics, both on and off the field, have become outdated and he has gone from being the ‘Special One’ to being very much the ‘Boring One’.

Mourinho has always been renowned for winning major trophies, no matter what it takes.

In the past he has resorted to goading fellow managers, shaming players publicly in order to motivate them and putting 10 players behind the ball in order to counter possession-based teams.

In the 2009-10 season when he won the Champions League with Inter Milan, the deeper his side went into the tournament, the deeper they sat back and defended for longer and longer passages of time throughout their two-legged ties, and ultimately the final where they beat Bayern Munich by sitting back and hitting the German side on the counter-attack.

But when the positive results are taken away, all you are left with is negative performances and even more negative results.

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Mourinho is no longer a winner; he can no longer claim to be the best manager in the world. There is only one manager in Manchester that can lay claim to that accolade.

Pep Guardiola changed the way football is played in 2008 when he began his reign at FC Barcelona, and Jose Mourinho has been too stubborn to adapt.

That is not to say that Mourinho must play possession-based football; Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool is proving that counter-attacking football does not have to be dull and negative.

But Mourinho’s star is very much on the wain, and one of his key attributes that made him so successful, his ability to man-manage players and make them believe in his style of play, appears to be diminishing.

Evidence of this goes beyond United’s performance against Sevilla. Mourinho lost the dressing room in his two most recent jobs before United, falling out with key players at both Chelsea and Real Madrid.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility to see morale drop in the United dressing room following this loss, and with the FA Cup being the only competition the Red Devils can win this season, a quarter-final loss to Brighton this Sunday would be disastrous.

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Mourinho’s off-field tactics are just as outdated as his tactics on the field, with his unique style of motivation baring no response from the United players.

He has dropped the likes of Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba this season in the hope that it will inspire them to produce better performances, but neither player has been able to produce a good run of games all season.

He has publicly shamed Shaw and earlier in the season he dragged Henrikh Mkhitaryan off at half time when he was not performing well.

Mourinho has been labelled a “bully” in the past, most notably in his treatment of Chelsea physiotherapist Eva Carneiro in the early months of the 2014-15 season.

His personality is no longer endearing and interesting, it has now become irritating and repulsive – he has been labelled narcissistic and it would be a stretch to render that labelling unfair.

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Mourinho has claimed on a number of occasions this season that he has matured and during his early days as United manager, he resembled a son in law who had recently met his in-laws and was trying to stay on their good side.

Nine months on, Mourinho is back to his old self, and quite possibly reaching a new low with his comments in his post-match press conference following the loss to Sevilla.

He disrespected the very same club that he claimed he is now mature enough to manage, by saying: “I’ve sat in this chair twice before; with Porto, Man United out, with Real Madrid, Man United out.

“So this is nothing new for this football club.”

Mourinho is likely to never change tactically or personally, and if that is the case, it is only a matter of time before he becomes the shadow of his former glorious self.