Jose Mourinho is under pressure. Now in his third season as Manchester United manager, consecutive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham have not only put a serious dent in his side’s title aspirations, but have led to scrutiny of his tactics. Some have suggested that his ideas are indecipherable, others say they are outdated. But perhaps the worst criticism to come Mourinho’s way of late is that his side lacks an identity.
When he arrived at Manchester United in 2016, Mourinho brought with him a reputation crafted over the best part of two decades. He won domestic and continental titles at Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid through midfield superiority, solid defence and incisive counter-attacking. While some thought his style wasn’t necessarily in line with Manchester United’s history, few doubted he would bring them success.