United are equipped to win the league
I know everyone’s been very excited that Manchester United have won 4-0 twice in a row, but it’s not about the score-line for me, it’s the way the team have been performing that makes me optimistic.
You can see, clearly, that Jose Mourinho has changed the team and made real progression.
Last year, it was a case of going in there and changing the mentality and philosophy of the players – after the Louis Van Gaal period, United weren’t playing attacking football. Jose needed to get the team playing the way he wanted, and to bring in the players he needed.
This year, it’s Mourinho’s team. You can see the difference. The balance in the side is spot on – Nemanja Matic sitting in front of the back four allows Paul Pogba to go and venture, as we saw against Swansea, while Romelu Lukaku was a massive buy, he’ll score for fun.
As a whole, the team has the right shape and balance. People always talk about the goals they score, but they’re not scoring either – which is a great recipe to have if you’re going to win the league.
Especially with talk of Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming back in January, United have a team which is equipped to win the league – it could be their time, they’ve a very good chance.
Swansea display reminded me of United at their best
The last goal against Swansea really brought it home to me just how good Jose’s side is – it just reminded me of United teams of the past.
The way they counter attacked, it was like the Red Arrows, the pace and power of it.
That’s the way my team used to play at United, with the likes of Giggs, Kanchelskis and Hughes attacking.
The whole team seems now to have skill, pace and power. It’s so much better than the Van Gaal era. The fans were disillusioned, and I know a lot of ex-players were too, but that’s totally changed under Mourinho – the atmosphere in the first game was unbelievable. It’s been a long time since I saw Old Trafford like that. There’s a belief back in the team and the fans.
United now have a presence about them. In recent years, teams would be coming to Old Trafford thinking they get something. This season, they’ll be beaten in the tunnel.
Jose should let ‘horses run freely’ in big matches
This United team can play in different styles – they can press from the front when they need to, or they can sit back in a deep block and counter. That’s a great trait to have.
They know that, if they get the first goal, eventually opponents will have to come at them.
And as soon as Swansea opened up on Saturday, they were eaten alive.
It’ll be interesting to see how Jose sets up against bigger clubs, especially at Old Trafford, where you have to go for the other team’s throats – you’re Manchester United, you don’t sit behind the ball. The fans won’t have it any other way.
Away from home, of course, it’ll probably be completely different in the bigger games – we saw how Jose got them sitting back at the Etihad last year, but that was because he didn’t have the personnel to attack City. This year, you’ll see a different side.