In the previous season, 2016/2017 season, Manchester United under Jose Mourinho had started with winning the FA Charity Shield and ended with winning the UEFA Europa League. In this season 2017/2018, they had started with a loss to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup but the first game of the Premier League for both seasons had some similarities where both of the newly signed strikers had scored in their debut as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had scored in his Premier League debut previously and in yesterday’s game against West Ham Romelo Lukaku too had scored in his debut but fared better as he had a brace equalling Ruud Van Nistelrooy debut goal in 2001/2002 season. Unfortunately, Lukaku unable to make history to become the first Manchester United to score a hattrick in his Premier League debut.
Although this season had started with a loss in UEFA Super Cup on the evidence of the performance yesterday, this season can be a far better season than the previous season. Jose Mourinho with exception of the first reign with Chelsea always had a glorious second season since then. With Internazionale, he had made them become the first Italian club to win the treble in 2009/2010 and with Real Madrid, in 2011/2012 season, he had won the La Liga successfully against one of the greatest team of all time Guardiola’s Barcelona with a record of 121 goals in a single La Liga season a record. His second reign with Chelsea too also had a successful second season when he had won the Premier League 2014/2015 season. With Manchester United however in his first season, he had made history by becoming the first Manchester United manager to win a trophy in his first season when he had won the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
In the game, yesterday against West Ham for the first 10 minutes, things look like in the previous season where they had attacked only to miss a couple chances. But after that thing changed when Lukaku scored his first goal, adding another one, Anthony Martial scored after coming as a sub, and Paul Pogba scored an accurate curling shot from outside of the penalty area to make the scoreline 4-0. Apart from the thumping scoreline, they are more positive things on the evidence of the first game.
United are playing with more pace with Lukaku and Rashford both is the striker that has a great speed. Their passing is quicker now with the pace of Lukaku on the evidence of the first goal. The breakneck speed on which they scored the goal after an interception from Nemanja Matic saw Rashford whom running from his half and spread a perfect pass to Lukaku to score the first goal. By the way, Lukaku does not look nervous at all and is confident in himself. With Lukaku brute power and pace, United can afford to play more quickly now and with Rashford on the flank whom can also score from the wide position, they are more firepower in them compared to the previous season.
The addition of Nemanja Matic is the key that gave the balance in defense and attack. Since the departure of Owen Hargreaves, Manchester United had lack a good defensive midfielder. Due to these in some game against the big team especially in Europe, United was punished severely but now with Matic in the team, Pogba had been released and we can see more of Pogba in the final third compared to last season. Even the first goal is from the brilliant interception from Matic and Matic not only a defensive midfielder but also is quite comfortable with the ball. The United midfielder had been stronger with the addition of Matic.
Mikhartrayan in the previous season was not at his best especially in the Premier League but on the game yesterday it shows that he had adjusted to the Premier League style of play and played brilliantly in pulling the strings as the number 10. In the game yesterday, he had made 2 assists to Lukaku and Anthony Martial and expect more thing to come from him.
Another thing that was better than the previous season, United is more ruthless as they had scored 4 goals in just 6 attempts on goal. The scoreline can increase further if Rashford’s shot had hit the post and squeeze in the net instead of going out. On the previous season, United will need chance after chance to score a goal, in yesterday’s game United were clinical and ruthless and if these can be consistent then United can expected to score more goals than the Moyes era and Van Gaal era.
The squad had more depth now as Jose Mourinho will go all out on all competition especially in UEFA Champion League. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, United had never been to the second round of the UEFA Champion League and with Jose Mourinho in charge let’s hope this will happen for the first time post-Ferguson era. In this competition, Mourinho has one of the best records and with the depth of United squad this season maybe United can go further.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retirement, United had been in hand of David Moyes who had successfully brought down the team from champion to a 7th place and Van Gaal while fared better than Moyes as he had made United won their first trophy post-Fergie era, still, his football was absolute dull to watch. But on Jose Mourinho, United fan has a high expectation just like in Fergie era as Mourinho had successfully brought the fear factor back to Old Trafford and is in the process to make United a formidable opponent again not only in domestic but in Europe as well. Jose Mourinho had always had a great second season with every club that he had managed and if he had managed it to have a great season, then United management maybe will regret privately for not choosing Jose Mourinho earlier after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as he is available at that time. For now, the season can be expected to be far better than the previous season.