August 20, 2017
Manchester United’s mood is buoyant according to Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement panel. Jose Mourinho’s United side started their Premier League campaign in good stead after beating both West Ham United and Swansea City in 4-0 thrillers, scoring 15% of their goals scored last season, in just two matches so far in this campaign. United had struggled to break down both the Hammers and the Swans, but in the second half, quick goal were scored to stretch United’s lead and punish their opposition. It is also the first time United have started the season in this way since the early 1900’s.The Sunday Supplement panel discuss Manchester United’s start to the Premier League season, and how the mood is now buoyant at the club.
Mourinho has played down reports of a Manchester United title charge by suggesting that this time last season, United had six points out of six, winning their third match of the season also, but finished sixth in the Premier League. It is early to suggest United will dominate the league, especially having only played West Ham and Swansea. Leicester City are United’s third opponents of the new season, playing at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Shaun Custis of The Sun, part of the Sunday Supplement panel insisted that he detected a ‘glint in Mourinho’s eye’ also suggesting that the Portuguese ‘special one’ believes he has a team to win the title this season. Reported by Sky Sports, Custis said:
“I do detect a glint in Mourinho’s eye. He’s starting to enjoy himself a little bit, enjoy the banter again.
“He was getting way too grumpy last season, and we wondered if we’d ever see the old Mourinho again. I like the old Mourinho. I think he believes he’s got a team who could possibly win the Premier League this time around.
“I do believe there are still problems about getting wide, getting the ball into the box to service Lukaku all the time.
“The lads who go to cover United say the mood has changed completely; among fans, among players, backroom staff.”
Sam Wallace of the Telegraph agreed that the mood around the Old Trafford club seemed buoyant also suggesting that the clubs early fixtures of the season could see them get a lead on those they were challenging last season, failing to do so based on other commitments and ending up sixth in the league having to go all the way in the UEFA Europa League in order to obtain a UEFA Champions League group stage place. Wallace said:
“If you look at their games, I don’t think they play a conventional top-six side until Liverpool on October 14. So they have got a good start to the season in terms of fixtures, and they’re not suffering in terms of injuries.
“They look promising, but you’ve got to look at the two teams they’ve played, West Ham and Swansea. The mood is buoyant at the moment, but it is changeable.”
Paul Pogba put in a great performance against Swansea, just like he did against West Ham United the weekend before, this time earning the Man of the Match award from his club, despite Henrikh Mkhitaryan winning the Premier League award for the 4-0 victory. Wallace praised the Frenchman, who is no longer the world’s most expensive player, seemingly having that responsibility if you can call it that, removed from his shoulders, saying ‘nothing passes him by’. The Telegraph writer concluded by saying:
“Pogba is not the sort of player where everything goes well for him – he could have perhaps been sent off for a second yellow.
“But when I compare him to other United big signings who have struggled – like Veron – the game used to pass those players by. Nothing passes Pogba by.
“He’s involved with everything. He’s got this phenomenal ability to get around the pitch and keep going right until the end.”
Manchester United have gained some early momentum which will help fuel the confidence of the players, the manager, and the supporters ahead of their third Premier League match of the season, against Leicester City at Old Trafford. There will be a break of a fortnight before the next match because of the first international break of the season, which is where United came unstuck last season, falling to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, another defeat in the UEFA Europa League group stage to Feyenoord and a third consecutive defeat in the league last season. That is what started to shame United’s season, that and the fact Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were not the best in both form and fitness, adding more pressure on Mourinho and United to get something fixed. Of course, it did get better, but it did also get worse. So far so good for United, if they can continue their willing streak, the added confidence will help them through.